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Stiles rushes into the Great Hall. He needs to find Scott, he needs to tell him the news right now before the first years get here and the sorting begins. He dashes over to the Gryffindor table and finds Scott sitting opposite Allison, staring dreamily at her.

"Scott! Scott!" He slides into the seat next to Scott, earning him some filthy looks from the other Gryffindors he pushes out of the way. Just because a Slytherin's at their table. Whatever.

"Hey Stiles, what's up?" Scott says, like Stiles hasn't just dashed in and disturbed everyone at their table.

"Have you seen the new flying instructor?!"

"No. I didn't know we were getting a new one."

Stiles rolls his eyes, honestly. "Do we even go to the same school? Remember the incident with the centaurs and Professor Paige? I heard no-one's seen her all summer."

"Oh, yeah," Scott says distractedly, eyes drifting back to Allison. Seriously, just because he's seen Scott all summer but Allison has been on holiday with her parents for most of it...

"Scott! Focus! You'll never guess who it is." Stiles barely waits a beat before continuing, it's not like Scott will ever in a million years guess this anyway. "It's Derek Hale!"

That gets Scott's full attention. "Derek Hale?! As in Tutshill Tornados chaser Derek Hale?! As in--"

Stiles can't take it, "Previous student Derek Hale! Ex-Hufflepuff Prefect Derek Hale! The love of my life, who was cruelly snatched from my hands--"

"I don't think he even knows your name, Stiles... "

"Technicalities! He will! It's fate, can't you see? He was cruelly snatched from my hands five years ago--" Stiles can admit he might be being a bit overdramatic.To himself, not Scott.

"He graduated, Stiles."

Professor Harris shouts across the hall. "Get ready for the sorting to begin. All students back to their house tables."

Stiles ignores Harris and focuses on Scott, he isn't getting this, at all. "Fate! Cruel, cruel fate that he was stolen from me before puberty hit. Cruel I tell you!"

Stiles maybe says that a bit loudly, because all of the students nearby are watching him. He glares at them and makes a shoo-ing gesture. "Nothing to see, carry on!"

He turns back to Scott a bit quieter now. "Fate I tell you, fate!"

"Mr. Stilinski! Get back to your house table, now before you become the first person to lose points this year!" Professor Harris shouts. "I don't care if you are in my own house."

"Fine! Fine!" Stiles gets up and makes his way back to the Slytherin table. He looks up at the staff table and finds Professor Hale is now sitting at his seat. Urgh, that man should be illegal he's so attractive. This is going to be a fantastic year.

*

Stiles doesn't know why Derek Hale isn't playing for the Tutshill Tornados anymore, and he's not entirely sure he cares. Okay, that's a total lie. He absolutely cares, because he wants to send whomever or whatever was responsible a gift basket. They brought Derek Hale right into his lap, okay, not his lap, not yet, but Stiles (like any good Slytherin) has plans.

The first step in Stiles's plan is to get assigned to helping Professor Hale with the first years that are struggling with their flying lessons. There's always a group of them, every year. Stiles was even one of them in his first year, trying to get over his ridiculous fear of his own broom. (Minds out of the gutter, he'd never had a fear of that broom.)

It was the first place he'd seen Derek. Professor Hooch was getting on in years and Derek had been there helping her instruct the lagging first years.

He was the Hufflepuff Prefect, and manly seventh year; all big grins and enthusiasm, even at their totally crappy flying. Derek was totally Quidditch-mad, captain of the Hufflepuff team and everyone thought he'd go on to play professionally when he finished Hogwarts. They were right.

He'd wanted all of Derek's attention then and he wanted all of it now. Derek hadn't been mean to the first year Slytherin kid whose whole family and best friend had been in Gryffindor. He'd told him there was no reason to be ashamed about being in Slytherin, it just meant he was cunning and clever. Stiles had absolutely fallen in love with him even if it's taken years to put a name on that feeling.

He's been trying to figure out a way to do get roped into helping with the first years for the past three days. Sitting at a table in the Great Hall poking listlessly at his mashed potatoes he complains to Scott.

"It's never going to work. The only thing I can think of is to get myself set it as detention. But then to do that it'd have to be Professor Hale giving me detention. And then he'd hate me." Stiles has pushed his mash potatoes into a small hill. He starts trying to fortify it with his brussel sprouts.

"You could just ask him to help?" Scott says around a mouthful of sausage.

Stiles wrinkles his nose in distaste, "What kind of plan is that, just asking? He'll know I want to be there then."

Scott frowns. "I thought you wanted him to know you want to be there."

Stiles scratches at his head. Scott might have a point.

"Besides, can't you just tell him it's detention? Or you're doing it to look good on an application or something?"

"Urgh, but he won't like that, will he? He's a Hufflepuff. It can't be anything underhand or-- Why are you laughing? Are you laughing at me?" Stiles is slightly indignant, half play, half serious.

"Stiles, you're overthinking this, just go and ask him if he needs help, say you love Quidditch or whatever, and then bam. Love. Or something."

Stiles narrows his eyes. "That's a Gryffindor plan, I'm not a Gryffindor."

Scott rolls his eyes. "It's a plan, Stiles, and it's better than yours right now."

Stiles doesn't like to concede points to Scott and he's been wary of letting Scott plan things since the great kitchens disaster of '10. The less said about that the better.

He takes a large mouthful of greens and mash and chews thoughtfully. Maybe Scott's plan isn't the worst plan ever. He got Allison to love him so he must know something about these things.

*

Which is how Stiles finds himself in his Quidditch gear trying to race down the stairs to get out to the lawns before the first years make it there. He hadn't meant to take so long, but he couldn't figure out if wearing his Quidditch robes was the best way to go about this. What if Derek left the Tutshill Tornados because he developed some weird phobia of Quidditch, or, what if it made him miss being on the team, what if--

Stiles quickly leaps over onto the landing as the staircase he's on starts to move away. He rushes out of the front doors of the castle and down onto the lawns. He might have pushed passed a few groups of first years, but they can't prove anything.

He reaches the lawns and stutters to a halt right in front of Derek and a pile of brooms. He's flushed, he knows he is he can feel it on his face, and he can't catch his breath and... shit, what happened to being smooth and charming?

Derek raises an eyebrow at him as Stiles pants his way through an introduction. "Hi, I'm Stiles... I thought... you might like... some help with the first years?"

Stiles expects the smiles he used to get from Prefect Derek Hale, or even one of those cheeky grins from the team photos on his bedroom walls from Chaser Derek Hale. Instead he get a glower and a gruff, "No thanks."

Apparently that's what you get from Professor Derek Hale?

Stiles frowns. This isn't the plan at all. "But I'm really good at flying."

"I'm sure you are, kid, but I don't need any help." Derek starts lining the brooms up and Stiles can hear the chatter of the first years approaching.

"But... I'm really good at flying." What the hell is he saying. Why is he repeating himself? "I mean, I want to help, with the kids, and stuff. The kids, mostly the kids."

Derek stops and looks at Stiles, a look of dawning recognition and Stiles thinks, 'yes! he remembers me!'

"Stiles, is it?" He asks, brusquely.

Stiles nods.

"I'm here to teach the kids, they need help and that's what they're going to get. If you get in the way, you go, if you make them uncomfortable, you go, if you--"

"--I go. I get it. Don't get in the way, don't make the kids worse."

"Good, now help me lay out the brooms, they're almost here."

Stiles grins and picks up the brooms. It's definitely a start.

*

It's been a few weeks and Stiles still can't believe how bad some of the first years are at flying.

"They're terrible, Scott. Like, I'm not even sure I was ever that bad," Stiles complains before he stuffs a whole yorkshire pudding into his mouth.

"I don't know Stiles, you were pretty bad. Remember that time your broomstick chased you around the--"

"That's enough of that!" Stiles looks around to make sure no-one heard that. He might not be the most amazing Quidditch player, but he is one of the Slytherin beaters. Can't having people know quite how bad he had been with a broom. "I mean, I got over it though, and look, I'm on the team now and everything."

Scott 'hmmms' thoughtfully and eats a roast potato. "I don't think that's saying much. Your team hasn't won in like... the whole time you've been here."

Harsh, that's harsh and not exactly true. Well. Okay, fine. It's true. "We didn't come last the year before last."

"I'm not sure that's something to be proud of, dude."

Stiles hmpfs. It so totally is something to be proud of. The house had even thrown the Quidditch team a little party. Very little. Barely a party. There was cake... that the team brought. Fine, whatever, it didn't matter, they were still a Quidditch team. That was the important bit.

"Hey, there was cake," Stiles says after a fairly long pause.

"What? Why's there cake at practice?" Scott asks.

"No, not at practice. Look, never mind. The point is part one of Seduce Derek Hale is well underway! Now I've just got to show him how awesome I am and bam, he falls in love with me."

Scott looks dubious.

"It'll work, Scott, seriously. Allison, tell him it'll work."

Allison is sitting opposite them but hasn't been paying attention at all. "What, Stiles?"

Stiles rolls his eyes. "Tell Scott my plan to seduce Derek will work."

She glances at Scott, a dubious expression on her face too.

"Urgh, Lydia! Tell them my plan will work!" Stiles tries.

Lydia had been talking to Erica, a sixth year Gryffindor until he dragged her away. She frowns at him, a perfect crease appearing between her eyebrows.

She's the only other Slytherin sitting with him at the Gryffindor table, because she gives exactly as many fucks as he does about people telling them what they can and can't do. Stiles loves her, he really does, just... not the way he loves Derek. Lydia will always be like a sister to him, except, in the weird way that they fucked a couple of times and maybe she was his first, but now she's firmly in sister territory. Firmly. Like her breasts. No. This is about Derek, not Lydia.

"The plan to make Hottie Hale yours?" She asks.

Stiles nods.

"It's not going to work," she says blithely.

Stiles splutters. "Et tu, Lydia? Et tu?"

She rolls her eyes at him. "Stiles, your plan consists of you trying to win someone over with your shining personality. We're your friends and therefore can honestly say: you're an acquired taste."

What?! What does that even mean? Is he being insulted?! Is that what's happening? "What? What are you even--"

"It's not an insult." Lydia might know him too well, he's not afraid to admit that, but he is still a little bit afraid of her. Healthy fear, it's a healthy fear.

"Then what is it?"

Allison's the one who answers. "It takes awhile for people to see past this." She waves a hand vaguely at Stiles. "And see the real Stiles underneath. The one we all love."

He frowns. "I still feel like I'm being insulted here."

"There isn't time enough for him to get to know and love you before you leave Hogwarts, Stiles. Or before teaching first years drives him away from here." Lydia takes a dainty bite from her carrots.

"Do we even know why he's suddenly stopped playing for the Tornados?" Scott asks, his first useful addition to this conversation (in Stiles's opinion).

Stiles has been asking around, as much as sixteen year old can ask around from within Hogwarts. "Boyd's aunt works for the Falcons," he starts, Boyd is a surly Gryffindor in the year above them.

Lydia isn't crass enough to gesture to hear more, but Stiles can see her eyebrow quirked as her curiosity is peaked. Lydia is a bigger gossip than he is, or, like, an anti-gossip. She loves to hear it all, but she rarely ever shares it.

"He says she says he lost his game. Can't score, can't even catch the quaffle and no-one knows why."

Allison snorts, a decisively unladylike gesture. It's one of the things Stiles loves about her: on the surface she's all polite and refined and then you get to know her and you realise she's just a normal person. It's awesome.

"What? It could be the truth," Stiles insists, but he really hopes not. He loved watching Derek Hale play and score. All those rippling muscles, and that beaming smile, and... "What do you think then?"

"I reckon it's an injury he's getting over, a bludger hit him too hard in practice and he's spending the year recuperating by teaching firsties how to fly," Scott suggests.

Stiles idly scratches at his chin, that sound plausible, he hopes not on that front too. "What do you reckon, Lydia?"

She's quiet for a moment. Lydia's smart, Lydia always sees the things other people don't see, the motivations, the openings. Lydia's your textbook-Slytherin. Stiles would never rank his friends because that's crass, but, okay he has, and it goes like this:

1) Scott
2) Lydia
3) Allison
4) Everyone else

Not that he'd make that list. Ever.

Lydia's talking though, so Stiles focuses. "There was no official announcement, which means it's something that's an embarrassment to the team, or to Derek himself. I think it's probably both of them because neither has said anything. And it's big enough that they've made sure no-one finds out. I wouldn't be surprised if it's a particularly nasty curse he got in an 'scandalous' way. Or, something along those lines."

Lydia's right, that fits more than any injury or sudden inability to play does.

"Hm. Well, this isn't going to help me date him though, is it?"

"Look on the brightside, now he's a washed up famous athlete you've got way more chance with him than you ever did before," Lydia says.

"Hey, take that back about the man I'm going to marry. He is not washed up."

"He's teaching first years to fly, he was playing in the Quidditch World Cup last summer, that says washed up to me." Lydia flicks her hair over her shoulder and Stiles narrows his eyes.

"Fine, whatever." He'll get her back later. "How am I going to get him to like me?"

*

Stiles isn't sure he likes step one of Lydia's plan. He's been sitting in the boys dorm for the last half hour as Lydia digs through his clothes trying to find him something suitable to wear to practice.

"I wear my Quidditch kit, that's all that makes sense. I need to be able to move and fly--"

"There's no game to win or lose, Stiles. You're just making sure first years don't fall and die. You can do that in something more appealing. Take it from someone who's seen you naked, you should stop drowning yourself in your clothes. You're actually not that bad once they're off."

Stiles feels himself blush. She throws another t-shirt at him and demands he tries it on. He hesitates; Lydia might have seen him naked before but this is a totally different.

"Just take your off Stiles, I've seen it all before."

He hems and haws until she rolls her eyes and turns her back on him. He pulls his school shirt off, getting the tie caught around his head and nearly strangling himself. He finally manages to pull on the t-shirt and frowns as it pulls around his shoulders and the hem stops just below his belly button, leaving the dark trail of hair leading into his trousers visible for all to see.

"It's too small," he complains.

Lydia turns back around, casting a critical eye over him. "Yes, too small."

"This is what happens when you dig through my pile of clothes that I've outgrown." He doesn't wait for Lydia to turn around before pulling the shirt off, he feels ridiculous in it. He crosses his arms across himself and folds his hands into his armpits, covering his nipples from view.

Lydia goes back to digging through his trunk. "Where's your fifth year Quidditch kit? I know you never throw anything out. Eurgh!" She pulls out a crusted sock from Stiles's trunk. He shrugs but feels himself flush again. Serves her right for going through there. "Aha!" She holds up his old green and grey jumper and beige trousers. Fuck.

*

Stiles feels the tiniest bit like an idiot. Lydia had told him they looked good on him, and he could move about and fly in them, but... his old Quidditch clothes are his old Quidditch clothes for a reason. He's not wearing the robes, but he's got the jumper and the trousers on, the jumper is stretched tight across his chest, and if he lifts his arms it shows off his belly for all and sundry. That's not the worst bit though: the trousers are horrendous, his balls feels like they're being split asunder the trousers are so bloody tight. Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but, still. This isn't the most comfortable. Derek had better bloody notice.

What Stiles gets about Derek is that he isn't the guy he remembers. He's not the confident seventh year that was quick to smile and eager to help. He still cares about the first years, that's obvious, he's patient with them and it's been two months and already they're down to just a handful of kids left in the class. He praises them when they do good, and he tells them off sternly but fairly when they try and goof off. But when he's not dealing with them, he's all glares and quietness. Stiles has seen him in the Great Hall since the welcome feast, and he wonders where he eats, who he eats with. If he's eating alone in his chambers that's... pretty depressing, to be honest.

Stiles has seen him fly, nothing fancy and definitely not in any Quidditch related capacity but he can't see anything wrong with how he flies. It's only a few weeks until the first Quidditch match of the season, Gryffindor vs Slytherin. Stiles is on the team, and so is Scott. But he's a beater and Scott's a seeker, they rarely see each other except when Stiles is trying to throw a bludger his way; it's not like he's a chaser or anything.

Stiles knows his team's going to lose, and he's kinda oddly okay with that now.

"Hey Stiles," Derek says as he approaches. Derek frowns and looks Stiles up and down as he takes in what he's wearing.

"What happened to your clothes?" He asks, confused.

Stiles knows he's blushing, stupidly fair skin. Of course Derek wouldn't notice him like this, what had he even been thinking letting Lydia talk him into this? "I... my regular kit was in the wash." Stupid, this was stupid.

He tugs ineffectively on his too-short sleeves. Stupid plan.

"I've got a spare jumper, if you want to wear it? I can't promise it won't be in Hufflepuff colours, but it'll fit," Derek offers and Stiles doesn't know what to say.

"Oh, are you-- I mean, that'd be great, it's not a problem though, I can still play in--" He doesn't get to finish the sentence because a jumper hits in him the face.

"It might not be the cleanest, but at least it will cover all of you," Derek says and turns his back to organise the brooms for the lesson.

Stiles strips quickly and pulls Derek's top on. It's a little too big for him, but it's a boatload more comfortable than what he had been wearing.

"Thanks," Stiles says, and watches as Derek turns round. Oh, he'd been giving him privacy to change in. That is... oddly weird for a professional athlete.

He doesn't get to say anything else, because the first years are here.

The lesson goes fine, Stiles still has to catch one the stragglers who falls off his broom, like, every week, but other than that the rest are getting really good. Almost good enough that they don't need extra lessons. Stiles selfishly frowns at that thought.

The first years are all gone when Stiles asks, "Are you going to be refereeing the match on Saturday?"

Derek frowns from where he's putting the last of the brooms back into the shed. "Of course I am, the flying instructor always does."

"I didn't know if you would be, or if you had a... you know... because of the..." Stiles is digging himself into a hole. He hasn't meant to ask if Derek isn't going to be refereeing because he has a problem with Quidditch. This is a topic that whilst he really, really wanted to know the answer to, he doesn't want to drive Derek away. He gets the distinct impression it's a touchy subject.

Derek's still frowning. "I can play Quidditch."

Stiles flails. "I didn't suggest you couldn't! I mean, I've seen you play, locally and, you know, in the World Cup, even if we did get knocked out in the first round. I mean, you're an excellent Quidditch player. Like, one of the best I've ever seen and--" Why can't he stop talking, oh god, Derek is looking angrier by the second. "You're an excellent Quidditch player."

Derek doesn't look angry anymore. There's a sad expression on his face as he says, "Was."

"What?" Stiles isn't following, he's too lost gazing at Derek's face, he looks almost as beautiful sad as he does smiling, but Stiles thinks he prefers him smiling.

"I was an excellent Quidditch player. I'm not anymore," Derek says quietly.

What do you say to that? Why is he opening up to Stiles? Isn't there anyone he can speak to? Stiles... really isn't expecting this.

Before he can think of something to say Derek is stalking off back towards the castle and he guesses that's that conversation over. What just happened?

*

The weather is bright but freezing on the November morning of the first Quidditch match of the season. Derek is pretty good as a referee, fair but firm, like he is as a teacher. And if sometimes Stiles gets so distracted by the sight of him flying around that he gets hit by bludgers passed to him from his own team. Well. It's not like they were going to win anyway.

They lose horribly and Stiles can't help but be anything but surprised. Their team captain shrugs and their Head of House hasn't even shown up for the embarrassment. Harris is a douche anyway, Stiles wouldn't want him watching them play.

Stiles is the last one in the locker room, trying to tape up his knuckles from the bludger that had hit him on his batting hand. (Seriously, he isn't that bad normally, but Derek isn't doing good things for his game. Stupidly sexy motherfucker.)

He hears the door open and he barely wonders who forgot something when he catches a glimpse of Derek. He drops the bandages and grabs his shirt to cover his chest. Smooth, Stiles, real smooth.

"Hey kid," Derek greets him, his eyes quickly flick to the bits of Stiles' chest that isn't covered by the t-shirt he's holding against it. Stiles follows his gaze and sees the beginnings of what will be some nasty bruises coming out on his torso. "Painful?"

Stiles shrugs. "I've done worse. What do you want?" Because he wants Derek out of there as quickly as possible. Derek being a Quidditch player means this is basically the beginning to most of Stiles's jerk off fantasies. He can feel his dick twitch and he thinks, 'fuck, fuck, not now'. He's only wearing his boxers and... this could end badly, really badly. Don't think about Derek Hale naked. Shit.

He thinks he sees Derek's nostrils flare slightly, but he must be imagining it.

"What do you want, dude?" He repeats.

"Don't call me dude," Derek answers, almost reflexively. Derek looks unsure, like he's not sure how to approach a subject. Stiles doesn't think he's ever seen Derek Hale unsure before, he's not sure he likes it.

"Spit it out." Stiles hadn't noticed when he'd got so comfortable around Derek.

"Do... do you always play that badly?" Derek winces.

Stiles winces too, because ouch that was more honest and open than he was expecting. He's not the best player, but really did Derek have to come in here just to rub it in his face?

Dereks seems to realise Stiles is upset because he quickly adds, "I thought I could... help?"

Stiles squints at him. "Help?"

"You're not a total lost cause, I mean, you can play, but you could just do with a little more discipline, a little more practice... If you wanted, once the last of the struggling first years are finished, we could use the time to practice?" Derek looks uncomfortable, like it's costing him something to offer.

If Stiles was a nicer person he would probably turn Derek down, it's obvious that he doesn't want to, that he's just trying to be nice. Except it's exactly what Stiles wants, not only would it keep him spending with Derek after the extra lessons are done, but it would just be them, one on one. Well, it's his own fault for offering, Stiles is a Slytherin and Derek knows that, if he didn't want him taking him up on it, he shouldn't have offered.

"For real?"

Derek nods.

Awesome.

 

*

It takes two more weeks of Saturday practice for the last of the first years to actually be up to the standard of the rest of the class, or at least, good enough that they don't need any extra lessons.

He's sitting in the Great Hall eating breakfast before heading out for practice. Lydia is over on the Slytherin table this morning with her boyfriend Jackson. Stiles think he's a douche, but Lydia likes him, or at least likes what he gives her. He's handsome, popular and good at everything. He's like catnip to an image orientated Slytherin like Lydia. (Stiles still isn't sure why she spends so much time with him, but he doesn't really think about it. Lydia does what Lydia wants to do. There'll be a reason for everything, even if the reason is just she wants to.)

Jackson doesn't make a fuss about Lydia spending time with Stiles, Scott and Allison, so Stiles guesses he's not so bad.

"What do you guys think I should wear? I mean, this is like the first practice just me and him, does it count as a 'first date', it's just us, right? And we're--"

"Stiles, I think for it to be a date both parties have to know they're on a date," Allison says, looking pointedly at Scott until he nods his agreement.

"Lies, two people spending time together where there could be romantic things involved is totally a date. So I was thinking I should--"

"I don't know, man. I think Allison's right."

Stiles snorts. Scott agreeing with Allison? Like that's anything new.

"Just, wear what you normally wear to practice, and don't do anything weird like bring him presents or food. You'll probably scare him off if you do," Allison advises.

Stiles doesn't like it, how is this ever going to go anywhere if he just focuses on Quidditch all the time? He repeats the thought to Scott and Allison.

"Quidditch is the starting point, yeah?" Scott asks.

Stiles nods.

"Well then you've got to stick to Quidditch, like, Hale's pretty serious about it, if you start making it look like it's all a ruse--"

"It is a ruse, Scott," Allison interrupts.

Scott shakes his head, "No, I mean, if this all fucks up at least Stiles might come out of it a bit better at Quidditch, which would be a total win in my book."

"Not in mine," Stiles mutters.

"But still, if it looks like it's a ruse then he's just gonna get pissed off at you and no-one wins. You won't even get better at Quidditch. So, turn up in your normal clothes, try not to get hit with your own bludgers and be charming. Failing that, be you, you're pretty lovable once you get past the sarcasm and flailing."

Stiles pauses. That's possibly the most sensible and smartest thing he's ever heard Scott say. He knew there was a reason he kept him around (and no, it isn't just for his amazing chocolate frog card collection). Even if he has just been insulted, again.

"Turn up, I can do that."

*

He's early, he knows he's early, but that doesn't stop him worrying Derek won't show up. He's mentally planning how long he'll wait before giving up when he spots Derek walking towards the grass.

He's floating a large trunk in front of him that Stiles guesses has the balls in it. They don't need the quaffle or the snitch, but they do need the bludgers and no-one wants to try and carry those about without the trunk to keep them strapped in.

"I thought we'd head down to the pitch, it's a bit of a walk but it'll save any of the bludgers getting anywhere near the castle," Derek says and Stiles agrees.

They walk down to the pitch mostly in silence, except Stiles isn't good at silence, so it's probably more accurate to say Derek walks down mostly without saying anything and Stiles chatters away to him.

"So I said, 'Do you honestly expect me to sit at my own table when my friend is over here?' and Harris was like--"

"Do you ever shut up? You weren't this noisey when you were helping with the first years," Derek says, in a gruff voice.

Stiles shrugs. "Sometimes. They were noisy enough, I just don't do well with silence. So, if you want to shut me up you can totally engage me in conversation. I am here, waiting to be engaged in conversation."

Stiles swears Derek growls, except humans don't growl, so maybe the best way to describe it is a very rough, low groan?

"Thank you," Stiles says suddenly, realising he hasn't even thanked Derek for helping him out with this.

"Don't worry about it. Besides, it's not like I've got anything better to do with the time now the first years are sorted. And you're not half as weird as the students that keep hanging about outside my rooms trying to get an autograph." Derek frowns, as if just the thought of them annoys him. "I don't get it, I gave them all the signatures they wanted, I thought it'd make them go away, but they're still there."

"Have you tried talking to them?"

"Why would I do that?"

"Because if you do they'll realise you're an actual person and probably get over the whole star-struck thing." Stiles is secretly ridiculously gleeful that he was the only one in the school smart enough to think of offering to help Derek to get to know him.

"That doesn't sound like it'll work."

Stiles shrugs, "Worse case they'll keep hanging outside your rooms, best case they become disinterested and wander off."

They've reached the pitch now and they both walk through the stands and onto the grass. Stiles has his broom in one hand and his bat in the other. He is so ready for this. Stiles hadn't loved Quidditch until he'd seen Derek Hale play, hell, Stiles hadn't wanted to get onto his broom until he'd met him. And now he is here, about to practice with Derek Hale.

Derek sets the box down and flips it open and Stiles can see the bludgers straining to get out. Derek has brought his own broom with him and he sets it down, giving it the up command. Stiles mimics him.

"Get on, once you're in the air I'll release one of the bludgers and then I'll join you up there," Derek instructs, like he's done this before.

Of course he has, Stiles reminds himself; he was captain of the Hufflepuff team for two years. Stiles wishes his own captain gave two shits about training them like this. The most they ever had was watching Jackson, their seeker, fuck around with the snitch. No wonder they suck.

Stiles kicks off and stays hovering low to the ground.

"Ready?" Derek shouts.

"Yeah! I can do this!" He's got his bat in his hand and he's going to show Derek exactly what he can do.

*

When Stiles makes it into the common room he's exhausted, bruised and covered in dirt and grass stains. Thank god his house colour is green. Late in the evening and Derek had kept them playing until long after it had got dark. He pointed out that you never knew what conditions you are going to have to play in, you have to have an idea where the bludgers are at all times.

It is the first time since they've started back at school that Stiles has seen the Derek Hale he remembers from before; the Derek Hale he saw smiling back at him and flying about on his posters at home.

Whoever said Derek had lost his game hadn't seen Derek play. He is... shit he is amazing, even beating with Stiles (hey, minds out of the gutter) he's better than Stiles, and that isn't even his position. Stiles doesn't even want to imagine him chasing, he is willing to bet he's on top form for that as well.

The common room is empty apart from Lydia sitting in one of the leather armchairs near the fire.

"Hey Lydia."

She looks up from her book. "Do I take it you coming back this late, looking that exhausted and filthy is because--"

"Derek is a total hardass about practice? Yes, you'd be right," Stiles finishes, diverting her.

"You've not been playing this entire time?" He can hear the disbelief in her voice.

"Quidditch is serious business with Derek."

"So I can see. So how did... ?"

Stiles shrugs. "Nowhere. Scott's right, maybe the best that can come out of this is me getting marginally better at Quidditch."

Lydia quirks an eyebrow at him. "You're giving up? What kind of Slytherin are you?"

He lets out a little huff. "A very tired one. Who will be way back on plan and schedule tomorrow morning, but not until then. Because sleep. Night, Lydia."

She smiles. "Good night, Stiles."

He starts heading to the tunnels that lead to their dorms. He's almost to the door when he hears Lydia call his name. "Yeah?"

"How's his game?" She asks, and of course she hasn't forgotten that, Lydia can smell a scandal at a hundred paces.

"There's not a single thing wrong with it."

*

The practices keep up and Stiles wouldn't say they get any easier on him, but he definitely gets hit with less bludgers. He manages to knock Derek off of his broom one Saturday and even if Derek swears he was distracted it still totally counts.

December comes, snow falls and practice doesn't give up. No matter how much Stiles whines, it's like Derek has made Stiles actually winning a game of Quidditch into a personal mission. His life must be really boring for him to focus on Stiles like this.

"But Derek, it's snowing," he complains.

"You're a sixth year, you know warming charms. Besides, your next match is in January against Ravenclaw, it could well still be snowing then. This is Scotland, Stiles."

"Urgh, fine."

"This is our last practice before Christmas," Derek reminds him, and oh, yeah, Christmas. He loves Christmas.

"I love Christmas, the food, the presents, the vicious decorations... " Suddenly the snow doesn't seem quite so horrible. It's going to be Christmas.

Derek is quiet.

"What? Aren't you excited about Christmas?!" How can someone not be excited about Christmas?

Derek shrugs. "It's okay."

Stiles's eyes narrow. "You're not staying at Hogwarts, are you?"

Derek hesitates for a moment, but shakes his head. "No."

"Good, that's good. Christmas is so totally a time for family. I can't wait to see my dad. It's stupid, I'm so close but I'm not allowed to go home and see him. Who knows what he's up to... "

"Close?" Derek questions, and duh, Stiles thought everyone knew.

"I live in Hogsmeade. Do you know how ridiculous it is that I have to floo all the way down to London just to catch the train back up here every year?"

Derek's frowning at him.

"Fine, fine, Quidditch."

*

It's Christmas eve and Stiles is back in Hogwarts. He made the stupid mistake of leaving his dad's present under his bed. Apparently he'd hidden it too well. The walk from Hogsmeade isn't long, but it's bloody cold, and with so few people in the castle it's cold there too.

Stiles has the book (Healthy Meals for the Modern Witch by Castora Grimsby) and is making his way through the entrance hall when he catches sight of a familiar person coming up from the kitchens.

"Derek?" He says in disbelief. Derek told him he was going home for Christmas. He lied.

Derek stops, like a child caught red-handed. "Stiles? What're you doing back here?"

Stiles gestures to the present under his arms. "I forgot dad's present. You said you were with your family for Christmas."

Derek shrugs. "Plans change."

"You're not spending it here, are you? That's like... really bleak." Stiles narrows his eyes at Derek, a plan already forming in his head. "Hey, you should totally come to mine for Christmas."

"Stiles, it's fine. I don't mind spending--"

"No seriously, it's like Hogsmeade. It's walking distance from here. You can just spend the day with us, eat, be merry and still sleep in your own bed."

Derek wavers, Stiles can see he doesn't really want to spend Christmas at Hogwarts with the ghosts, odd teachers and students for company. "I wouldn't like to intrude, you don't get to see your dad often."

"Pffbt, he'll be happy for the company, only two people for Christmas sucks. Normally Scott and his mom spend it with us, but they're making nice with Allison's family this year." Stiles still feels a bit stung by that, but Allison's lovely, even if her family isn't.

They're blood-status-ists (is that even a word?) and Scott's dad had been a muggleborn. Stiles has no idea how someone as sane as Allison came from such a batshit family, to be quite honest.

"I'm totally taking your silence for agreement. We have lunch about one, I'll expect to see you there." Stiles fishes out a quill and a scrap of paper from his bag, he quickly writes down his address and hands it over to Derek.

"You're sure?"

"Yeah, you don't need to bring anything, just yourself. See you tomorrow!" And Stiles is off, working his way through the snow back to his house.

*

Derek shows up at five to one, holding a bottle of Firewhiskey in one hand and a bag of oranges in the other.

Stiles opens the door to him and raises an eyebrow at the oranges.

Derek shrugs. "Short notice, and they seemed festive."

Stiles draws Derek in, shutting the door against the snow. "Come on, you've totally got to see my presents. Scott bought me a new bat! It's like, amazing, and way better than my old one. Let's face it, one good hit and all it would have been is splinters in my hand. Look, he even got it made out of the same wood as my wand. It's perfect."

Derek takes the offered bat and examines it. He picks it up, testing the weight and balance, and gives an experimental swing.

"It's too light for me, but it's perfect for you. It's a really nice present, Stiles, you've got some thoughtful friends," Derek says, and hey, it's Christmas day, no-one should sound that glum.

Stiles nods. "Yeah he is pretty awesome. We've been friends since we were six, and my dad arrested his dad for being a dick."

His dad shouts from the kitchen, "Stiles, language!"

Stiles rolls his eyes and corrects himself, "Arrested him for being not a very nice person."

Derek smiles and Stiles thinks it's the first time he's seen a proper smile on Derek Hale's face since he came back to Hogwarts. It looks good, like it belongs. He's got a face made for smiling, he should do it more often.

Derek's face suddenly drops and Stiles thinks, shit, did I just say that outloud?

"I smile," Derek says, and shit, yeah, he must have said it outloud.

Stiles feels his cheeks heat up. Fuck, way to make things awkward and uncomfortable. Before he can think of a reply, his dad is coming out of the kitchen, carrying two plates with mince pies sitting on top of them with a dollop of cream.

"We call that 'doing a Stiles'," His dad explains.

"Hey! I'm offended."

A small frown graces Derek's brow. "Doing a Stiles?"

His dad nods, handing Derek one of the plates and settling into his arm chair. "Yeah, saying something stupid and making a nice situation instantly awkward. Doing a Stiles."

Stiles huffs dramatically and settles onto the sofa.

Derek's smile is smaller this time, but it's there. "Yeah, he does that alot."

"You're telling me, you should see some of the situations I've had to talk us out of since he learnt to talk."

And like that the ice is broken. Derek and Stiles's dad get on like a house on fire. They talk about school, Stiles and Quidditch. A lot about Quidditch. Stiles hadn't thought to warn his dad not to talk about it because... well, it's okay. Derek's not freezing up, and his dad isn't asking any ridiculously awkward questions.

Stiles doesn't burn the turkey, and the roast potatoes are all nice and crispy. It's one of the best Christmas days he can remember since they lost his mom. See? Derek is totally where he belongs.

*

Stiles doesn't see Derek for the rest of the holidays. He thinks about heading up and seeing if he wants to practice, but his dad is there and Derek was right, he hasn't seen him in forever. One week slips into the next and before Stiles realises it it's time for term to start up again.

It's during their first practice after Christmas that the niggling thought that he hasn't realised has been there brewing in the back of his head comes to the front and won't leave him alone.

Derek's been playing chaser and trying to score, and Stiles has been beating and trying to stop him. It's fun and Stiles isn't actually half bad at it. He stops at least two of Derek's goals and almost knocks him off his broom once.

But the thought is there. Derek Hale is on top form. Seriously, this is like, world-class Quidditch, not Stiles's game, not by any measure. But Derek's flying is so easy, so natural, he's lost nothing. It's not just that, though, Derek looks more alive that Stiles has seen him since he got back to Hogwarts. He's enjoying himself.

So why isn't he playing professional Quidditch? Why is he hiding at Hogwarts? Because that's what it is. Stiles is willing to bet that he hasn't left the school, except to go to Hogsmeade, since he arrived. He still doesn't eat in the Great Hall, Stiles hasn't seen him talking to anyone besides himself and his students. Like, no-one. Not that Stiles is stalking him, except for the tiny bit where he is. (And where it's finally becoming a little bit creepy because Stiles actually thinks he might be Derek's friend now, and stalking your friend is creepy. Even if what he's learnt stalking him is that he might well be Derek's only friend.)

Stiles doesn't even quite know what the hell move Derek pulls, but the next thing he knows he's laying on the ground with his shoulder throbbing.

Derek lands just next to him, grinning and holding the quaffle.

Stiles looks up at him from his indent in the snow. "How did you even do that? Did you score?!"

Derek laughs and offers Stiles a hand. "Nifty, wasn't it?"

Stiles takes the hand and nods. "You managed to get a bludger to hit me without a bat! Like, seriously, even with my shoulder feeling like I've just been hit by an flying iron ball. Which I have. And score?! That was so cool."

Derek's still grinning at Stiles as he brushes the snow off of him and Stiles doesn't even think before he speaks. "How the hell are you not playing professionally any more?"

And like that, the smile disappears off of Derek's face. Stiles thinks he should back-track but... how? Seriously how is he not playing?

"No, I mean. But why? Derek you're at the top of your game..." Stiles trails off, Derek isn't saying anything, he isn't making eye-contact with Stiles.

"Drop it, Stiles," he mumbles.

Stiles feels a surge of anger, and unfairness, Derek is wasting all this potential over what? A scandal? Why should he care what anyone thinks about him when he plays like that. Stiles can't stand it.

"Stiles, please, drop it." Derek is getting agitated.

Stiles has got right up close to him as he's been railing on about Derek's skills.

"No! You're wasting all that talent over what? A stupid scandal? What could there possibly be that can't be worked through?" He can play, so he should be. And he tells Derek so.

"I can't play Stiles, just. Stop." Derek sounds angry now.

He wants to ask why, he wants to demand answers, Derek doesn't owe him anything but he can't understand. "Why can't--"

Stiles doesn't get to finish the sentence because before he realises it Derek is leaning over and kissing him. It's hard and rough, his lips against Stiles's. Derek pulls away before he can even get over the shock enough to respond and to kiss him back.

Stiles is so thrown off that he has no idea what to say. Did-- What-- The first thing out of Stiles's mouth probably isn't the best thing or most well thought out. But Derek is grabbing wrangling the bludgers back into the box and starting to head back towards the castle.

Derek is far enough away by the time Stiles has found words that he has to shout them across the Quidditch pitch.

"DID YOU KISS ME JUST TO SHUT ME UP?"

Derek doesn't answer, but Stiles does think he starts to walk a little quicker.

Fuck.

*

"Okay, so over it again," Lydia says, leaning forward in the chair.

"I was pushing him about his career, he angrily kisses me, and then stalks off before we can talk about it. There's not much to go over." Stiles leans forward and buries his head in his hands.

Lydia doesn't say anything, she just 'hmms'.

"Why, why did he kiss me? How did he know it'd shut me up? Did he do it just to shut me up? Oh god Lydia, what is going on?!" Stiles doesn't know if he can take this. He doesn't know if Derek hates him, he doesn't know if Derek likes him, he doesn't know if they're just going to pretend this never happened. Because Stiles is Stiles he doesn't think that last one is an option.

He knows the next time he sees Derek he's going to just start babbling until he makes it worse because that's what he does. He takes awkward social situations and makes them worse.

Lydia still hasn't said anything.

"Say something, reassure me, tell me what to do, just say something!"

"It's a situation," Lydia says and what the fuck kind of answer is that?

"Yes! It's a situation.

Lydia rolls her eyes. "What I mean is, he obviously likes you, or at least feels something--"

"You're sure?"

"Stiles, there are a hundred ways to shut you up that don't involve kissing you."

"Yeah, but--"

"No buts, Stiles. At least a hundred ways, and he's known you long enough now that he must have learnt some of them."

"But then what the hell is the situation, he likes me."

"The situation is, Stiles, he's a teacher. You're a student."

Stiles rolls his eyes. "Pfffbt that is no problem for me--"

"No, but it might well be a problem for him, which might be the cause behind the running away."

"Hm, so you don't think the running away was about his career?"

"I think it was about that too, you're going to have to pick what matters more, having Derek or solving the mystery of his career. If you get Derek, you might eventually find out the second, but... it seems like it's not going to be any sort of way in. And you've got enough obstacles as it is." Lydia sits back in her chair, like everything from now is up to Stiles, and he guesses it is.

"Urgh, this sucks."

*

Stiles won't see Derek until the next week, and he feels... a bit odd about the whole thing so he steps down his stalking. So he really won't see Derek until the next Saturday.

He might drive everyone he knows mad angsting about the situation. Not that he'll admit it, but when Lydia offers to blow him to shut him up, he knows he's hit a certain point of pathetic.

"You're like a sister to me," he tells her.

"A sister that knows what your face looks like when you come," she counters, looking pointedly at where he's biting his lip.

"Ew, stop this, we're focusing on my Derek problems right now. Thinking about you blowing me is simultaneously making me horrifically uncomfortable and making me think about Derek blowing me. Which is not an uncomfortable thought, except for how I'm getting really turned on. I can't handle all these mixed emotions right now."

Lydia rolls her eyes. "Stiles, I say this as a friend. Just go to bed, jerk off, whatever. Just stop talking about Derek before I strangle you."

Like he says, he might drive everyone mad.

Saturday rolls around and, no like, Stiles is so scared/excited/worked up that he jerks off three times before he can even think about heading down to the pitch. Fear boners are not to be ignored. And if he does it thinking about Derek, well, no harm no foul.

When he arrives at the pitch to find Derek isn't there, he gets nervous. He's not running late, he knows he isn't. So... fuck. Was Derek seriously just going to ignore Stiles and act like they weren't even friends? Because that was a pretty douchey move. Just as he's thinking of heading up to the castle to find Derek and tell him he sucks, he sees him walking hurriedly onto the Quidditch pitch.

"Sorry! I was talking to one of the students that was lurking outside of my room, and they just wouldn't stop asking questions. So, I was thinking today we could go over the strength vs accuracy of your hits. The harder you hit, the more likely they are to go wide... "

Stiles is lost, seriously, for all his nerves Derek is acting like nothing had happened last week. In a feat of serious restraint Stiles doesn't bring it up. He doesn't put his foot in it, he lets himself get caught up in the practice, the flying, and if maybe he doesn't try and disguise the looks he's giving now, well, Derek doesn't comment. Even when he catches him looking.

Stiles isn't sure what the hell this is, but he thinks it's... okay? Stiles isn't going to push it... yet.

When they're finished, the balls loaded back into their trunk and ready to head back up to the castle, Stiles hesitates. He knows Derek doesn't really spend time with anyone where, and he was serious about probably being Derek's only friend. But he doesn't really want to destroy this fragile peace based on ignoring the problem that they've got going on.

"Derek?" Stiles asks, hesitantly.

Derek raises an eyebrow.

"Do you... urgh, this is going to sound so teenage--"

"You are a teenager."

"So not the point. But, do you want to hang out sometime?" Stiles can feel the panic that he's on the edge of fucking things up for good with Derek.

"Stiles..." Derek begins.

"No, no, not like that, I mean, it's okay, I get that you don't, and, if you do, well, I'm totally good with that, but I assume you don't, like, right now, because I'm, whatever. But, maybe... you shouldn't spend so much time alone, dude." Urgh, did Stiles seriously just word vomit at Derek? "We could, like, go shopping at Hogsmeade, or play Quidditch for fun, me and Scott do that sometimes, you could join us? I don't know, man, there's like tons of stuff to do about here."

Derek still looks doubtful, but maybe a little bit less so?

"How about Quidditch, tomorrow? Me and Scott always play around a bit, sometimes Danny from Ravenclaw joins us and... yeah. Nothing serious, just a bit of a fly around."

"Okay."

"There'd be other people and everything. It's really fun and we--"

"Stiles, I said okay. What time?"

Stiles stalls. Oh, he'd been so desperate to convince Derek to join them that he hadn't heard him. "We meet up about one, we only get a few hours before it gets dark, but it's fun."

"I'll see you there." And Derek leaves, heading towards his rooms and away from Stiles.

Stiles grins. Excellent.

*

It's really fun, actually. They play about a bit, nothing serious, Derek seems to enjoy chasing with Allison, the two of them are pretty good together. Danny saves a fair amount of their goals, which is kinda good considering Derek is a pro and everything. Was a pro. Whatever.

Derek comes along the next week as well and it becomes a thing. Derek sometimes seeks him out in the library while he's doing his homework and just sits reading. They're friends, Stiles can now definitely say they're friends. He just can't help it if he wishes they were more. When it's just them practicing Stiles can't help but stare and Derek still doesn't say anything but Stiles has caught him staring at Stiles a few time and... yeah. Stiles still reckons he has a shot.

They're just being kicked out of the library for the night, things have been so well recently that Stiles feels kinda daring.

"You know I'm seventeen next month," Stiles hints, conversationally.

"Are you hinting for a birthday present, because I've already got you one so you can relax," Derek says.

"That isn't... presents? Really? What is it?"

"I'm not telling you, Stiles, it's a surprise."

Stiles narrows his eyes. "I want to-- wait no, this isn't what I was going to say."

"Well, what were you hinting at?" Derek asks. They've stopped walking now. It's one of the lower corridors, just before the split where Stiles heads to his common room and Derek to his chambers.

Stiles glances around quickly, to make sure they're alone. It's late and they'd been the last people in the library, but it's still worth checking.

"I'll be seventeen. Seventeen means I can try for my Apparition license, I can drink, I'll legally be an adult... " Stiles trails off, he hasn't seen the realisation drop on Derek's face and now he feels awkward. They stand there a few moments, Derek obviously not getting it and Stiles feels more and more ridiculous. He shouldn't have brought this up. Urgh, time to cut and run. "Don't worry about it, I was just--"

Stiles turns to leave. This is awkward, he has totally Stiles'd the situation and he just wants to go and hide in his room.

Derek grabs hold of his arm, stopping him. "Stiles, it was important enough for you to bring up, tell me. What does you being an adult have to do with me, or you being embarras--"

Stiles sees the moment Derek realises. He almost thinks... are Derek's cheeks a bit redder than they were a moment before? He lets go of Stiles's arm.

"I thought we were both ignoring the thing," Derek says, uncomfortably.

Stiles shrugs, "I was, I mean, I thought we were ignoring it until it wasn't illegal?"

Derek darts a glance around the corridor, they've dropped to talking about it in vague terms and hushed whisper, but you can never be sure.

"I--" Derek starts but doesn't finish.

Stiles, though, feels bolder by Derek not just rejecting him straight away. He takes a step closer to Derek. "Wizarding World says I'm an adult in a month."

Derek makes this noise, like a high sub-vocal whine. "I'm still a professor here, and you'll still be a student."

Stiles takes another step towards him, right into Derek's personal space. "You're not my teacher."

Derek is definitely slightly flushed, thank fuck Stiles isn't the only one feeling something here. He knew it (okay, he didn't know it, but he strongly suspected... ).

"It's still a position of authority over you, we can't Stiles. What would people think?" They're close enough that Stiles can see the flecks in Derek's eyes, he can see the slight sheen of sweat on Derek's brow.

Stiles finds himself licking his lips and watches as Derek's eyes drop to them and keep staring. He could lean in and... Stiles darts a glance over Derek's shoulder to check they're still alone. "Fuck what other people think." Stiles says and he leans him and kisses him.

It's not like the frantic kiss on the Quidditch pitch, which, wasn't really them kissing so much as Derek kissing him. This is slow, and careful and so, so sweet from both of them. Stiles doesn't want it to end. He wants to deepen it, to push Derek against the wall and--

Derek pulls away from him, breaking the kiss. For all that it hadn't been some bodice-ripping passionate kiss, they're both breathing heavier than normal. Derek hasn't pulled far away from Stiles, he's still close enough that anyone who sees them would question why they were standing so close together.

"So, this isn't just me then," Stiles says, more of a statement than a question.

Derek shakes his head imperceptibly. "No, not just you."

"My birthday?" He asks, hopefully.

Derek closes his eyes and doesn't say anything. Stiles doesn't think he's going to answer and he feels his heart drop. Just when Stiles is trying to figure out he even talks himself out of this he hears it.

"Yes." Derek's voice is barely above a whisper, but it fucking makes Stiles's day.

*

Stiles's first Quidditch match since Derek had started training him comes at the end of January. It's Slytherin vs Ravenclaw, and... Stiles doesn't suck. He still gets a little bit distracted by Derek, but he is so good he's on fire. No, really.

He knocks three of the other teams players off of their brooms, including their seeker, star chaser and one of their own beaters. Scott's waiting for him in the locker rooms when he gets there, the rest of his team are nearly finished in them but Stiles had been busy being congratulated by his dad.

"Stiles you were amazing, like, seriously. Everyone noticed! The commentator was so busy talking about you he forgot to mention Ravenclaw catching the snitch at all!" Scott tackle hugs him and Stiles laughs, he's so fucking happy he can't even.

Stiles could try and be modest, but that's not Stiles at all. "Three of them! I knocked three of them off their brooms. Did you see the little frowny faces? They were so surprised"

Scott's nodding. "I know you guys still lost, but man, I thought you were spending all your time, you know, but Derek must be amazing to get you to this standard."

"Seriously, there is nothing wrong with Derek and Quidditch. He's like... Quidditch is it for him." Stiles feels a tug of sadness thinking about Derek and Quidditch.

"Dude, he should totally coach it," Scott says and Stiles' head snaps up.

"Scott, that is possibly the most beautiful idea you've ever said. You're right, he should coach it."

Scott looks pleased. "Come on, get changed, I've got some Firewhiskey I've been saving for such an occasion, and me and Allison found a new hidden room behind the mirror on the fourth floor. It looks like it was a tunnel but it's caved in. Someone's moved a sofa and some other stuff in there, it's well nice." Scott pauses for a moment. "I guess... you can bring Derek if you want? I mean, he's cool, right?"

Stiles shrugs, "I don't know, can't hurt to ask."

*

Stiles has to go to Derek's chambers to ask him. He's been down to the door before, but never in, and he doesn't think this time will be any different.

He raps on his door and Derek opens it almost before he's finished knocking. He's obviously fresh out of the bathroom because his hair's still wet. Stiles feels his mouth go dry, there's a little bead of-- fuck, okay, not the time for this, no matter how attractive he is.

Derek quirks an eyebrow at him, like he knows which is totally impossible.

"Hey Stiles, I thought you'd be celebrating tonight."

"Um, yeah, yes. Yes! That's where I'm headed now. The team don't much feel like celebrating, we did still lose, but Scott, Allison, Lydia and I have got a bottle of--"

"Stop. Stiles, do you forget I'm a teacher or are you just that stupid?" Derek asks, rubbing a hand across his face.

Stiles shrugs. "You're a cool teacher, who totally wants to come drink--"

"Don't tell me any more, please. Just, be careful and I'll see you tomorrow for our normal fly around, yeah?"

Stiles pouts, he's manly enough to admit he pouts. "Well, how about a 'well done' kiss?" Stiles closes his eyes and leans forward like it's a given the answer will be 'yes'.

He hears a small sigh from Derek and feels the soft exhale of Derek's breath, hot against his cheek, before he feels his lips on his own. Stiles's own are chapped from the cold winter air, but Derek's are warm and soft against his. It's only their third kiss and this looks like it's going to be just as chaste as the others until Stiles feels the slick feel of Derek's tongue, teasing at his lips.

Stiles surges forward, gripping Derek's robes and opening his mouth. It's like Derek's just turned all the signals to green. Stiles has kissed plenty of people before, he knows how to kiss, he's not some shy, inept virgin.

He feels Derek groan into the kiss and he's pushed back against the door. Derek's all warm and solid against him, pressing him into the wood. Stiles is getting hard, it's inevitable really, this is probably the longest he's been without some kind of human sexual encounter since he first slept with Lydia back in fourth year.

Derek breaks the kiss to drag in a gasp of air and Stiles waits for him to descend again, but ... he doesn't. Stiles opens his eyes as Derek pulls away, he'll never admit that maybe he makes a bit of a pitiful sound when he realises the kiss is over.

Derek is standing back, keeping a clear distance between them. His breathing is heavy and his face is flushed.

"Scott will be wondering where you are," he says, after a moment.

"No, Scott will know exactly how I got distracted, we've been best friends since we were six, he knows me." Stiles lifts a hand to his face, running his hands over his lips and cheeks, they sting slightly from the scrape of Derek's stubble. "And when I show up with stubble burn, he'll know exactly what I've been up to."

Derek doesn't have the good grace to look ashamed, he just snorts and steps back into his room. "Good night, Stiles."

"'Night, Derek."

Scott and Allison take one look at him and... congratulate him. Seriously, he has the best friends in the world, ever.

Somewhere between the fourth and fifth shots of firewhiskey Stiles remembers declaring, "this is the best day in the world ever." After that he doesn't remember much at all.

*

Stiles is walking back from Ancient Runes when he sees Derek walking across the entrance hall.

"Hey! Wait up!" He shouts, and runs to catch up with him.

"Hey Stiles, what's up?" Derek starts walking again, and Stiles falls into step with him.

"So, this weekend, have you got any plans?"

"Hogsmeade? Are you actually asking me to Hogsmeade with you, for Valentine's?" Derek asks, like Stiles would be so... obvious.

Stiles rolls his eyes. "Hogsmeade? Yes. For Valentine's? No. I normally use the weekends to go see my dad, he asked if you wanted to come over with me. He makes a mean lasagna."

"Does he... why's he invited me over?"

"He saw me play back in January, I think it's a thank you for taking the time to train me." Stiles smiles at him.

"Oh, what time do you want me there?"

Stiles grins, this is going to be awesome.

*

This is going to be a disaster. He hadn't even thought about all the posters of Derek he has on the walls of his bedroom at his dad's house. At Christmas Derek hadn't even gone near his room, but today was different. Stiles knew his dad had a shift this afternoon. He is an Auror with the ministry assigned to northern Scotland. It means a lot of shitty night shifts because there are only a couple of wizards that cover the whole area.

So, it is tea with his dad, but it's also time alone in the house, just Derek and Stiles. So yeah, Stiles is nervous. And the posters, the posters are just... this is going to be a disaster.

Stiles makes it to his house ten minutes before Derek does, which isn't enough time to do anything.

He's barely taken off his coat when he hears Derek arrive and his father let him in.

"Stiles! Derek brought us cake," his dad calls from the front door.

Derek's actually brought them Stiles's favourite cake. It's a chocolate torte and if he didn't already love Derek, this would have made him. The cake ends up in the fridge and his dad disappears into the kitchen to get the lasagne ready.

Stiles stands opposite Derek, neither of them saying anything and Stiles feels suddenly nervous. This is stupid, it's Derek, just because there's now a chance something could actually happen between them doesn't mean he should treat him any differently.

"So... do I get a tour this time?" Derek asks, looking about the front room.

"Yeah, but... oh god, this is so embarrassing... fine. Yes, you can have a tour, but seriously, just, remember I was like, totally obsessed with you, okay?"

"... Stiles, what did you do?" Derek sounds apprehensive all of a sudden.

"It's not bad, just, embarrassing, come on, might as well get it over with," he says heading towards the stairs and gesturing for Derek to follow him.

It's a quick walk up to the first floor, and Stiles' room is right near the top of the stairs. Once Derek gets in there he just... goes silent. Stiles can't bring himself to look at Derek to see how Derek is reacting to the... fine, fuck it, his room is basically a shrine to Derek.

"It totally looks like I'm a creepy stalker now, but I'm not. Okay so I stalked you a little bit when I got back to Hogwarts, but that was only so I could figure out the best way to--"

Derek silences him with a kiss. It's short and dry, but it's a kiss. It doesn't keep Stiles quiet for long.

"You've got to stop shutting me up like that, although, I'm not sure why I'm complaining, it's possibly my favourite way of being shut up but... Does that mean you don't think it's creepy?" He risks a look at Derek, who is just smiling indulgently down at him.

"It's... definitely creepy, but it's kind of sweet as well. I used to have pictures of Oliver Wood all over the walls of my room. Heh, I still do back in my room at my parent's house."

A hundred different Dereks grin down on them from the wall of Stiles's bedroom. The one on his door is waving as he flies in lazy circles. That was always a favourite of Stiles's.

"Can we go see the rest of the house, though? I'm getting really creeped out being watched by so many of me. How did you not?"

Stiles shrugs, a mischievous grin sneaking onto his face. "I liked being watched by you." And there's something so perfectly lecherous about Stiles's tone.

Derek snorts fondly, "I'll have to remember that."

*

"So Derek, Stiles says a couple of other students have approached you about coaching them too?" His dad asks, and yeah, Stiles might have mentioned it.

Derek nods. "Yessir, teaching doesn't take up so much of my time, and now the evenings are getting lighter I thought I might take a few of them up on it. It'll give me something to do, I guess." Derek takes a bit of his lasagne and chews thoughtfully.

"They can obviously see how good you are, I mean, Stiles's improvement is unreal, I thought he just wasn't really cut out for playing Quidditch."

"Hey!" Stiles wasn't that bad before Derek had shown up. He was on the team, that meant he was better than most of the other Slytherins...

"It's true, Stiles, and he's obviously good at putting up with difficult personalities, I mean, look how he's put up with you... "

What is it with everyone Stiles knows and loves insulting him like it's going out of fashion?

"He's not so bad, he really wanted to learn. It's hard to teach someone who doesn't want to improve," Derek says.

"Have you thought about coaching professionally?" His dad asks and Stiles knows he told him not to ask about Derek's future. That's a thing, a thing they all know not to do.

Except, whereas Stiles had expected him to freeze up, or get awkward and try and leave straight away... he doesn't.

"I'd thought about it a little, but I think I might be too young. After the Tornados I'm not sure any league team would want anything to do with me." He shrugs and suddenly Stiles is reminded that even though Derek might smile more these days, he's still hurting over whatever drove him back to Hogwarts.

"They'd be fools, son. You're a damn good coach."

Derek ducks his head, embarrassed and Stiles feels a surge of pride. Derek deserves all of this and so much more, and he wants to be the one to make it happen for him.

*

Stiles's birthday arrives on a sunny morning in early March, it's still absolutely freezing outside, but there's a blue sky and the sun is shining. Lydia's too dignified to admit it, but she knows Stiles loves it and she's the only one of his friends that can actually do it so... He's woken up by Lydia pouncing on his bed and throwing presents at him.

He bounces awake, clutching at the present before he even realises he's awake.

"Presents!" He crows, trying to open it before he's even really awake.

"Happy birthday, Stiles. You're now officially an adult," she says, voice pitched low so she doesn't wake up the other people in Stiles's dorm.

It's too late for it anyway; Jackson at least is awake, and he can hear a couple of the other boys groaning and telling Stiles to, 'keep it down'.

He knows it's a book before he opens it, and when he does he sees the title, 'The Joys of Gay Sex'. "Oh my god, Lydia. I have had sex with a guy before, you know!"

A groan comes from Greenberg in the bed next to him. "Stiles, we didn't need to know that!"

"Oh shut up, like I needed to know anything about your sex life ever. Go back to sleep," Stiles snaps and goes back to cooing over his present.

"You may have done some things, but think of it as being fully prepared for anything," Lydia says smugly.

Stiles has already opened it and is flicking quickly through the contents, some catching his eye... bisexuality, bondage and discipline, clubs, cock size, coming out, daddy/son fantasies, dirty talk, etiquette... . "Oh my god, Lydia this is amazing."

"See? I told you so. Now if anyone gets you a better present today I'd be surprised. Now get up. Scott and Allison are waiting for us in the Great Hall for breakfast."

Stiles makes an excited noise that isn't exactly dignified.

"Listen to her Stilinski, get the fuck out of here so some of us can get back to sleep," Jackson complains. Or rather, the pile of blankets Jackson is hiding under complains.

"Fine, fine, leaving you miserable lot alone!" Stiles gets up and starts banging around as he's looking for his clothes.

"Just go!"

*
Scott and Allison are already in the Great Hall, along with... Derek? It's seven AM on a Saturday morning, so Stiles isn't surprised to see the Great Hall is empty apart from them. But still, this is awesome, Derek's never sat with them before.

Scott and Allison get him a broom kit servicing kit and box filled to overflowing with Stink Pellets, a Portable Swamp, some Extendable Ears...

Stiles side-eyes Derek as he rifles through the box. Derek snorts and pretends to look away. "It's your birthday, but if I see them on you any other day, I might have to confiscate them."

Stiles grins over at him. "Present! Come on, you're the only person who hasn't given me one."

Derek looks a bit uncomfortable and Stiles notices he's suspiciously lacking a present or anything that could be a present near him.

"Hey, you said you had a present for me months ago!" Stiles complains.

"I do, it's just not here. Come by my rooms later and I'll give it to you?"

Stiles has to resist making a pun really, really hard, oh god, he's thinking about hard things, hard things and being in Derek's chambers and fuck this is difficult.

Derek is close enough that Stiles can see his nostrils flare slightly and Stiles squirms in his seat.

"Cake!" He shouts, suddenly, loudly in the empty hall.

Derek snorts and clarifies, "Come by my rooms later, and I'll give you your real, wrapped up birthday present that is an awkward shape and too big to be carried up here."

Stiles flushes. "I knew what you meant."

Derek lets out a low chuckle, "Of course you did." He looks pointedly at Stiles' crotch and... there's no way Derek could know he got the tiniest bit hard at just the thought of Derek. You can't even see anything through his robes and--

"You can't have cake for breakfast, you'll be bouncing off the walls," Allison chides, and he knows all of his friends are remembering last year. They don't talk about Stiles's sixteenth birthday... for reasons.

Reasons Stiles doesn't want brought up in front of Derek, because he most definitely doesn't want Derek seeing him as a child in any way, shape, or form. They're the same reasons he hasn't reminded Derek that he was the person who taught him how to fly, the same reason he really hadn't wanted Derek to see the posters in his room. He feels like anything could throw him off and remind him that Stiles is still stupid and young.

So whereas normally Stiles would protest that it's his birthday and he can eat nothing but cake all day if he wants... he doesn't. Instead he concedes, "Fine, fine, but I'm having pancakes, with lots of sugar on them!"

As if on queue pancakes appear at the table. Stiles fucking loves the house elves here.

*

They agree to go and play some Quidditch down on the pitch; nothing serious just their normal Sunday fly around and Derek says Stiles should really stop and get his present before they head down.

Stiles is all nervous excitement and his brain can't seem to switch off from the fact that he's half convinced himself that his present is a blowjob. Except for how Derek has told him it isn't.

"Seriously Stiles, is that all you think about?" Derek asks, just as they enter his chambers.

And yeah, so maybe Stiles thinks about it a lot, he can't help it, he's a teenage boy and have you seen Derek? If it was just physical Stiles thinks it would be hard, but knowing Derek now just makes him think what Derek would be like, Stiles thinks he'd be all--

"Stiles, I can practically hear you thinking under there. Not now--"

"But it's my birthday." And fuck Stiles doesn't mean to sound like a petulant child, he doesn't.

Derek rolls his eyes, "And that's why I got you a present. Do you want it or not?" Derek is holding out a large object that can only be one thing...

"Oh my god you got me a new broom." Stiles scrambles to take it out of Derek's hands and unwrap it. It's a Aeolus by the Beacon Racing Broom Company, and Stiles has been fawning over these for forever, except... "This is a really expensive broom, Derek. Like, way too expensive for me."

"You don't like it?" Derek looks thrown, like he expected Stiles to be jumping for joy right now.

"No, no! I love it, just... you shouldn't spend this much on me, seriously, this is better than your broom." Stiles thinks of Derek's Nimbus 7020. Last practice he'd been looking at Derek's broom with envy and now...

"Stiles, I did it because I wanted to and I can. Besides, now you might have a chance against me when we play."

"Hey! I'm getting there! And... you're sure?" Stiles asks, turning the broom in his hands. It feels perfect, he can't wait to try it out...

"Yes, I'm sure."

Stiles carefully puts the broom down so he can throw his arms around Derek in a hug. "Thank you, you're the best boyfriend in the world, ever."

And then Stiles kisses him, because he's seventeen now, an adult, and he can do what he likes... Derek doesn't seem to mind at all.

*

The whole of the afternoon Stiles can see Jackson, Danny, Scott, Allison, everyone eyeing his broom with envy. Yeah bitches, this broom's his.

It takes until Stiles hits Jackson with a bludger for him to make a snarky comment about it.

Jackson's rubbing his arm, where the bludger hit when he says, "It's only because of that stupid broom. Who'd you have to fuck to get that?"

Stiles has to force himself not to look at Derek, because this is stupid, he didn't-- he hasn't--

"Jackson, don't be so crass. You're just jealous he's playing better than you are," Lydia scolds, from her position as referee. There's nothing really formal about their games, and Lydia doesn't even like Quidditch, but she likes being left out even more.

It's Scott that calls it a day and says it's way past time for them to start celebrating properly anyway. Derek excuses himself before they start mentioning Firewhiskey again, because even though Stiles can legally drink now, half of their friends can't.

Stiles feels a pang of sadness but it passes, he can spend all the time he wants with Derek now... right?

*

It's arse o'clock in the morning and Stiles is drunk. He's man enough to admit he's drunk. He, Scott and Isaac (a sixth year Gryffindor and one of Scott's dorm mates) had been the last three standing, so to speak, because none of them could really stand at all. Scott and Isaac had stumbled off towards Gryffindor tower together, leaning on each other and hushing each other in ridiculously loud whispers.

Which left Stiles making his way back down towards the dungeons on his lonesome. He keeps checking around every corner to make sure he isn't caught by the caretaker, he doesn't fancy detention with a hangover.

Stiles stops and looks around, the corridor looks familiar and... oh, this is the place, where the decisions... he frowns. Left heads towards the dungeons and his boring, lonely bed, and right heads towards the corridor that Derek's chambers are on. Which has a bed, and Derek. Stiles's brain barely sees a decision that needs to be made.

When he reaches Derek's rooms, he's already waiting at his door, like he heard Stiles coming, which is impossible because Stiles had been super sneaky, thankyouverymuch.

"Stiles, you should be in bed," Derek says, having to reach out and hold him upright.

Stiles nods, it makes the world spin but he nods, "Yes, I totally agree, which is why I'm here."

"Your own bed, Stiles." Derek still hasn't let him go, this is a good thing.

"Naww, my bed is all cold and lonely. Your bed sounds excellent." Stiles tries to push past him and get into the room, but Derek holds him firm.

"You can't sleep here, come on, I'll walk you back to your dorm." Derek starts trying to maneuver Stiles out of his room, but Stiles doesn't want to go.

"Nooooo, I won't tell you the password."

Derek stops, "Stiles, you really can't... "

Stiles leans forward and tries to wrap himself around Derek. Derek lets him and... Derek is so warm, like a warm, warm, something. Stiles buries his face in Derek's neck, he can feel Derek's stubble rasping against his temple. "Please?" He asks, but it's muffled by Derek's neck. He smells so good. Stiles lets his tongue dart out to taste, just a little, and nnrghhh... .

Derek lets out an exasperated sigh and Stiles feels the rise of Derek's chest lift him slightly as Derek is currently the only thing keeping him standing. "You can stay, but you're just sleeping, okay?"

Stiles nods. He can do that...

*

Stiles wakes up to his head thumping and thanks god that his common room is in the dungeons without any windows. Except... Stiles stretches out. This bed is a lot bigger than his bed, and it doesn't quite smell right, it kinda smells like... He cracks an eye open to see Derek standing next to the bed.

"Whu--?" Stiles asks, or at least tries. "What am I doing in... Did I... huh?"

Derek rolls his eyes, he does that a lot around Stiles, and hands Stiles a steaming goblet. Stiles accepts it, takes a sniff and downs it in one. It's horrible, but he knows a hangover potion when he smells one.

"I think I love you," he says, half serious, half joking. He can already feel the pain in his temples receding and the rolling of his stomach settling.

Derek snorts and sits down next to him, and... doesn't say anything.

Stiles suddenly feels worried. Oh god, what did he do, he didn't, what if he--

"Stiles, calm down, you came in, hugged me, stripped to your boxers and passed out on my bed. It was kind of adorable except for the part where you snore pretty badly."

He knows he's blushing, he checks and yeah... he's only wearing his boxers. And. They weren't exactly dignified, they're covered in little cartoon snitches. Ooops.

Stiles gathers the bed sheets around him. There's no real point except he never wants Derek to see these boxers again.

"Lydia stopped by," Derek begins and oh, shit, well. Lydia was always the smarter one of the two of them. "She says not to worry, everyone thinks you slept in Gryffindor last night, and there's no problem as her and Jackson are the prefects."

"Lydia's the best." Stiles says, because, Lydia is the best.

Derek nods, "Now, come on or you're going to be late for Arithmancy, and how would that look?"

Urgh, lessons.

*

Stiles doesn't get to ask when him and Derek become himandDerek because what Stiles hadn't realised was they pretty much were a couple anyway. So maybe now Stiles is allowed in Derek's room, and when no-one is about Stiles is allowed to touch and kiss and... well, that's as far as they've got. Stiles isn't getting frustrated, honestly, it's not like every evening with Derek ends up with him back in his bed, curtains drawn and furiously jerking off. His silencing spells have never been so good.

They're both curled up on Derek's sofa. Stiles is reading forward in his Advanced Transfiguration book, and Derek is thumbing through a muggle spy novel when Stiles can't take it anymore.

"Why won't you fuck me?" He asks, and shit, that came out a lot crasser than he meant to.

Derek folds the book down face open onto his chest, "Who said I won't fuck you?"

Stiles sits up slightly, knocking Derek's legs where theirs were tangled together. "You haven't? It's been weeks since my birthday and... "

Derek looks torn and Stiles realises he never really thought beyond Derek having a problem with Stiles's age. Derek agreed to date him when he was seventeen, they never said anything about anything sexual. Stiles had just assumed dating went hand in hand with fucking, because, well, that's how every other non-platonic relationship he'd been in had gone: into some form of sexual relationship. But then, he'd only ever dated people near his own age, just as eager to get off as he was and... maybe Derek didn't--maybe Derek was someone who just didn't feel the need to have sex, didn't--

"Are you--Don't you--" Fuck, how do you ever say this to a person? "You want sex, right?" When Derek doesn't say anything, Stiles goes into rambly overdrive. "I mean, it's okay if you don't, and now I feel like a total douche for pressuring you, but just, I mean, I do, and I guess you've notice that by now, but if you don't, I mean, that's okay, I still like you and it totally doesn't mean--"

"I want to have sex. With you." Derek says, like the words cost him something to say, but it breaks Stiles out of his ramble.

"Oh. Good." Stiles seriously has all these feelings for Derek, lack of sex with him probably wouldn't have even been a showstopper, but Stiles would have stopped pushing him about it. He totally would.

They're quiet for a moment Stiles is half hard and a bit worked up, it's almost his normal state around Derek, but all this talking about sex has made him think of it and... it's not exactly hard, haha pardon the pun, to get Stiles going. "Then why haven't we?"

Derek sighs, "I... there are a few things that changed, with me, before... before I came back to Hogwarts."

Stiles holds his breath, he almost thinks this is going to be it, Derek is going to tell him why he left the Tornadoes.

"I don't... I'm not entirely sure how--" Derek breaks off and makes a frustrated sound. "Soon, Stiles, just give me a little more time."

Stiles takes a steadying breath, "Time, I can give you time. And just... I get over-excited. Tell me when I'm being a douche and pressuring you, yeah? Because sometimes I don't realise and then it makes me feel really shitty when I do. I'd never do anything to make you feel uncomfortable. Not purposefully. Just, you need to talk, Derek. I'm really shitty at picking up non-verbal clues. Sometimes I'm not good with verbal clues, either." And yeah, he feels really crappy now. He's a terrible boyfriend.

"You're not... don't be stupid, Stiles. And... come here, I think, yeah, I think I can cope with this." Derek gestures for Stiles to turn around and sit between his spread legs.

Stiles hesitates. "I don't, Derek if you don't want to, it's okay... "

Derek grabs hold of Stiles's hand and pulls it towards his crotch. Oh. Derek isn't anywhere near soft. Stiles knows he only ever needs the slightest bit of encouragement and this is like a red flag to a bull. He knows he's got to be careful with Derek, respect his boundaries but Derek is obviously saying this is okay.

Derek is only wearing a pair of trousers, worn soft with age, and an atrocious knitted sweater. He can feel Derek harden as he palms him through the thin material. Stiles leans in for a kiss and is rewarded when Derek reaches up to pull him in closer. Stiles settles straddles one of Derek's thighs and oh, yeah, he can't get enough friction to get off, but the drag of his cock against Derek's thigh, even through the layers of fabric is such a delicious tease. It just makes him more turned on, more eager. He grinds down against Derek's thigh and urgh, yes.

Derek is sliding his hands down towards Stiles's hips and before he realises it he's being pushed back on the sofa, Derek leaning over him, pinning him down. Stiles feels another thrill of arousal run through him; this is good, Stiles can work with this. Except for Lydia, Stiles has always been the one in control, the one to initiate, the one to direct and... he kinda likes that Derek is taking charge, moving him where he wants him. Pinning him down and taking.

Stiles leans forwards to try and catch Derek's lips again, to resume their kiss but Derek goes for his jaw, moving along and kissing his way down to Stiles's neck.

Stiles moans. Fuck that's good. Except, urgh, why does...

"Derek, not the neck, not the neck," Stiles says, panting as Derek sucks and bites and that's good, that's really good. It's like there's a livewire between his neck and his dick and seriously, how had he never found that out before?

Derek isn't stopping and Stiles is really going to have marks up and down his neck which are going to be ridiculous to explain. He's still wearing his school shit and they're above that. He pulls his hands away from where they'd been scrabbling at Derek's back to push at his head.

"Derek, fuck, Derek, not the neck," Stiles says, more insistently this time.

Derek pulls back this time, blinking down at him like he's trying to process what Stiles is saying.

"They'll be a nuisance to explain," Stiles says and he sees Derek realises it, a slightly ashamed look crossing his face.

Before he realises it Derek's pulling away from him. "Sorry, Stiles. I just, I got carried away and I--"

No, no, no, no, no. Stiles fists a hand in the front of Derek's jumper before he can get too far. "Oh no you don't. Stay right there," he instructs, letting go of Derek to loosen his own tie and unbutton the top few buttons of his shirt that are visible above the vee of his jumper.

He tilts the newly exposed skin of his lower throat and collarbones up towards Derek.

For a second he doesn't think Derek is going to do anything, but then he swears he sees Derek's eyes flash, just for a second, but he must be imagining things. Derek surges forward, latching on and yeah, it's just as fucking good there.

Stiles comes in his trousers like he hasn't since he was in fourth year and Lydia first leant over, put her hand on his thigh and said, 'so we should fuck'. His only consolation is Derek does too.

*

He's sitting at a table in the library when Derek drops down into the empty seat next to him.

"I can't make our practice tomorrow," he says, without any preamble.

"Oh, are you okay?" It's not what Stiles was expecting, Derek doesn't know anyone else... what could get in the way of them spending time together?

"I've got to go and see my sister, she's ill," Derek says, like that explains everything. Stiles thinks he vaguely remembers Derek's sister, she'd been a... Gryffindor? Just dropping over the year mark so she was in the same year as Derek.

"Will she be okay?"

"She'll be fine, she just needs some help around the house. I should be back by Sunday evening though, if you wanted to come over and spend some time with me?"

Stiles nods. "Sounds good, hope your sister feels better."

"Yeah, I'll pass it along."

*

Urgh, Stiles can't believe he's been so stupid as to leave his Arithmancy textbook in Derek's room. It's late in the evening on the Saturday and Stiles really needs it to finish off his homework. He can't wait until Derek gets back tomorrow evening.

He casts a quick alohomora to open the door. It's not like Derek would mind anyway, he's not here to know. Stiles can see the book sitting where he'd left it on the sofa, he starts walking over to get it but stops as soon as he catches a pair of electric blue eyes watching him from the darkness.

Fuck. What the fuck is a werewolf doing in Derek's room when he's away...

...

..

Derek's a werewolf?!

Well, that explains a lot. Stiles tries to remember everything he can about werewolves. They're stronger than regular wizards and witches, and once a month they're stuck transforming into their wolf form, when the moon rises. Although... Stiles seems to remember something about them being able to form outside of the full moon if they get agitated enough.

He knows laws have changed in the ten years since the war, it's not... why is Derek hiding this? Lycanthropy doesn't have nearly the same stigma it had before the war. You aren't allowed to discriminate against them no more than you are allowed to discriminate against someone with a food allergy.

Don't run. Stiles definitely remembers you don't want to provoke a wolf into a chase.

What if it's not Derek, though? What if he's just put one and one together and made three?

"Derek?" He asks, holding out his hand. Do you hold out hands to wolves? Or is that cats? Or scared children? He forgets.

The wolf moves out of the shadows, it's head hung and it's tail between it's legs. The wolf... Derek is massive, he easily comes up to Stiles's waist and his coat is black with brown flecks throughout it.

Derek butts his head against Stiles's outstretched palm and Stiles carefully pets his head.

"Why didn't you tell me?" He knows he isn't going to get an answer, but he feels the need to ask.

The wolf just pushes his head harder into Stiles's palm, and he reaches forward to scritch behind his ears. Stiles can see the wolf's tail start to perk up and even wag slightly the more he pets him.

Yeah, that's Derek.

*

When Stiles wakes up he's curled up on top of Derek's covers wearing his uniform. He looks over and sees the naked expanse of Derek's back facing away from him. It happened, it really happened.

He reaches over to tentatively lay a hand on Derek's back. At the lightest touch Derek rolls over to face him. Derek's naked but that's not the first thing that Stiles notices. No, Stiles notices the look of wonder on Derek's face.

"You didn't run away," he says, like it can't believe it.

"Why would I?"

"I'm a monster, I lied, I... " Derek looks away from him.

Stiles might not be the brightest person, but he doesn't understand Derek's logic. "You're still Derek. Just because you're a werewolf doesn't change that." He reaches over and tilts Derek's head up, so he's looking at him again. "Is this why you aren't playing Quidditch professionally anymore?"

Derek nods. "We can do a lot of things, but the extra strength, speed and agility means we're not allowed to play professionally."

Stiles's heart breaks for Derek. "That's not fair, you didn't ask for this... ?"

"No, I didn't. We were in Bulgaria for an away match, I thought I hear someone call for help in the woods outside our hotel. I went to investigate and... " He gestures to himself. "He bit me."

"Did they find the wolf who--?"

"No, no sign, he just bit and ran which is rare for a 'wolf attack."

"It's not fair," Stiles repeats, because Derek tried to help someone and look what he got as a reward.

"It wouldn't be fair on the other players if they let me play. The Tornadoes offered to let me stay, they were pretty insistent it wouldn't be a problem but... it felt dishonest. Unfair to all the other players who practiced so hard."

"But you practiced so hard."

"It doesn't matter, Stiles, the strength and speed I've got now... it wouldn't be anywhere near a fair fight."

"I bet there are loads of unknown 'wolves playing for team out there." Stiles feels angry on Derek's behalf.

"I... yeah. I can smell them, other wolves. There are some on the Tornadoes. But that's their choice, Stiles. I love Quidditch and out of respect for all the people who tried so hard, I couldn't. Think of what would happen if people realised they could become 'wolves just to get ahead? How many people would be out there, looking for the bite? It'd be chaos."

"It's not fair," Stiles repeats again, and he knows he should stop, if anyone knows how unfair it all is it's Derek, but he just can't stop himself.

Derek's eyes flash electric blue. "I know, Stiles. Believe me I know, but there's nothing I can do about it."

Stiles reaches out a hand and hooks it around Derek, pulling him closer. He hugs him close and murmurs his apology. "I'm sorry, I just--" He stops himself from saying it's not fair again.

"You shouldn't hide away here, though. People are more informed about werewolves these days, you didn't do it by choice, you shouldn't feel like you have to hide away," Stiles says into Derek's hair. Derek is curled tight around him, face laying on his shoulder.

"They'll think I'm a monster, Stiles. I told my family and all I could smell was fear." Derek sounds so downbeat.

"Hey, did you stop and ask what that fear was about? What it was towards? Did they say anything? Did you even think the fear might be for you, not about you?"

"I left, I haven't see them since."

"Maybe you should, Derek. What did I smell like, when I first saw you as a wolf?" Stiles asks, because he's pretty sure he knows exactly what he smelt like upon finding a wolf in the castle.

Derek's quiet for a moment. "Fear."

"And did the smell stay?"

Derek shakes his head. "No, it settled into your normal smell around me."

Stiles wishes he had enough dignity and self restraint not to ask. "What do I normally smell like?"

Derek huffs out a little laugh. "Stiles, teenage boy, a soup of hormones and... arousal. More than any student in the castle when you're about me."

"So, that means you knew I wanted you the second I turned up at your flying lessons?"

Derek nods. "It's why I tried to send you away, I didn't need another creepy kid hanging around trying to get my attention instead of helping the first years."

"Hey! I was creepily hanging around trying to get your attention and helping the first years!"

Derek snorts. "I know, that's why I let you stay."

The conversation devolves into Stiles asking what different people smell like, and if he knows who has a crush on whom. It's ridiculous but Derek indulges him, and if he doesn't let go of Stiles the whole time, and maybe does something Stiles is pretty sure is scent marking, well, Stiles isn't going to mention it.

*

Stiles finds Lydia in the study room on the fourth floor. It's Sunday even and he's spent the entirety of Saturday and Sunday with Derek, only dropping back on Saturday night to sleep in his own bed. Lydia and Jackson could only cover for him so many times.

Because whilst he's been with Derek, his brain can't stop turning and there's something niggling at him that he needs to talk through with someone, and as always, Lydia is his go to person for problem solving.

This late on Sunday the room is empty. Even those students trying frantically to get their homework done for tomorrow morning have given up and gone to bed. That's the reason Lydia is the top at everything, she never stops.

"Lydia, hey! Have you got a minute to talk about something?" He asks, nearly knocking over the chair opposite her as he pulls it out to sit down in it.

"Ah, so you are still alive then? If your bed hadn't been slept in I would have made Jackson send out a search party by now. I thought Derek was away for the weekend."

"He was, I mean, he... that's part of the thing. But not, because this is all a hypothetical situation. Which you're never going to breathe a word of to another person?" Stiles asks, he knows Lydia is good at keeping secrets, especially his. And this secret won't be of any use to her, so he's doubly sure she'll keep it. He feels bad about breaking Derek's confidences, but there's something here, something he's can't put his finger on and it niggling at him.

Lydia rolls her eyes. "Do we really have to go through all of this 'hypothetical situation' nonsense?"

"Urgh, fine. Say Derek's a werewolf." Stiles stops, waiting for Lydia's reaction. When there isn't one his eyes widen. "You knew," he accuses.

"Of course I knew, Stiles. Well, I had it down to werewolf or vampire. That was the only thing that accounted for why he could still play Quidditch but couldn't professionally. Also, have you seen the way he sniffs at you? He thinks he's being subtle but he's really, really not."

"Oh. Well. But that's not the thing, I think, there's something about how he got turned that's odd and I can't figure out what it is."

Stiles tells Lydia the story just like Derek had told him. She's quiet for a few moments after he finishes.

"The Tornadoes said he could still play for them?" Lydia questions.

"Yeah, Derek seems to think they've already got some other 'wolf players, but what--"

"Stiles, they had him bitten. It's the only thing that makes sense."

Stiles freezes. "What do you mean, you can't... "

"He wasn't killed by the 'wolf who attacked him, he wasn't even mauled, right?"

"Yeah, but... "

"They didn't find the wolf?"

"No."

"Stiles, I'd be willing to bet they had one of the other players bite him. Think of it like a doping scandal; they're ramping up their players so they can win. There's no other reason for them offering to take the risk to let him play."

Stiles is silent. That's what he hadn't seen. Lydia had jumped straight to the heart of it like she always does. It's so diabolical he hadn't even thought of it. But that's good. It's not Derek's fault so surely--

"Stiles. It's just conjecture. You've got no solid proof they're doing it. Don't go running to your dad trying to get him arresting people."

"But they're doing something wrong, Derek has to know what they did to him."

"What good does knowing do him, Stiles? Except make him feel betrayed. If you can find proof, do it, otherwise, just drop it."

"But Lydia, they could be doing it to other people... other young kids like Derek."

"Stiles, you can't worry about people you don't even know. Worry about people you do know first. Without proof you're going to expose Derek as a werewolf, something he obviously doesn't want, you're going to make your dad look like an idiot for chasing after them, and you're going to make yourself nothing but enemies. Be sensible about this."

Stiles sighs, Lydia's probably right, he'd need proof before he could proceed.

*

Stiles's final Quidditch game of the season is against Hufflepuff. He keeps making jibes to Derek about favouring his own house until Derek pushes him up against the bleachers and kisses him until he can't think about anything but Derek.

Derek just smiles and makes a joke about split loyalties and that's that.

The game goes... amazingly. Stiles has been forcing the other members of his team to practice more and it shows. Slytherin wins by twenty points and everyone's fucking elated.

There's a party in the common room later and Stiles wishes he could invite Derek and his other friends, but oh well. Stiles is the last person in the locker room after the match (how is he always the last person?) when Derek comes in.

"You played good," Is all he says, leaning against their lockers like he himself isn't still wet from the shower. "Is the team having a party tonight?"

Stiles nods, unable to tear his mind away from the way Derek's shirt is clinging to him to form words. He must have rushed through his shower to get down here so quickly, pulling on his clothes still damp.

"Well, if you can try and stay sober, come down and see me afterwards. I've got a present for the star beater."

Stiles gulps, his mind going straight to the gutter. Now he knows what to watch for he can see Derek catch his scent, see him smell how turned on he is. It's probably not that type of present at all, but...

"Yeah, Stiles. It's exactly that type of present." How the hell did Derek read his mind? "But not if you're drunk, so one or two, no more. Okay?"

Stiles nods, he still can't manage to form words. Fuck, Derek Hale is going to be the end of him.

*

Stiles hadn't even had one drink, because seriously, what if one drink the way he drank Firewhiskey was too much for Derek?

Derek is waiting for Stiles at his door like he always does, it's like he hears him coming, which, thinking about it he probably does. It's either that or he spends all his time waiting for Stiles at his door.

As soon as he reaches the door Derek is fisting a hand in the front of his robes, pulling him into his chambers and kissing him.

Stiles goes from mildly aroused to yes, let's fuck right now in point three seconds flat. Derek pulls back and Stiles can see his eyes are blue, and fuck, yeah, Stiles likes knowing Derek's so into this he's having trouble controlling his wolf.

"You didn't drink anything. Good boy," Derek says, close against his ear, his stubble scraping against Stiles's cheek.

Yeah, that goes straight to Stiles's dick and fuck he's going to need to undo his trousers soon because the seam is starting to dig in.

Derek's mouthing at Stiles's neck again and Stiles brings his hand up cradling Derek's head, keeping him firmly in place. Stiles cards his fingers through the soft hair at the back of Derek's neck, he can feel the scrap of blunt, human teeth against his neck and shit it feels good.

It's Derek this time that remembers he's not supposed to mark Stiles's neck, and before Stiles knows it Derek's pulling at his robes and pushing him back onto the bed. Stiles lies back, knees dangling over the edge and feels Derek pulling his shirt out of his trousers, pushing it up to reveal the soft trail of hair that leads down.

Derek drops to his knees next to the side of the bed and Stiles props himself up on his elbows so he can watch. Because it's fucking beautiful, is what it is. Derek is pressing open-mouthed kisses down Stiles's stomach, pausing only to undo his trousers and push them out of the way.

Jesus, Stiles's dick is rock solid and he wouldn't be surprised... yeah, there's a small damp patch starting to form, only a dot really, where he's leaking precome. Derek is sucking hickeys into his hips and making the most obscene sounds. His cheek keeps bumping against Stiles's dick, and every now and then his arms brush against it where he's holding Stiles's hips down. If Derek doesn't stop right the hell now this is going to be over embarrassingly quickly.

Stiles tries to sit forward to push Derek away, but he can't move from the grip Derek has on his hips.

"Dude, Derek, shit-- stop, or I'm seriously going to fuck up another pair of trousers. The house elves are totally giving me shifty looks already after that last pair... "

Derek does pull away, but with one final nip to the patch of skin he'd been working and--God, there are going to be stupendous bruises there tomorrow. It's like Derek's taken him and marked him as his own. Which--

"Dude, is the marking a werewolf thing?" He asks, inspecting his hips, because he's trying to think about anything right now except for the way Derek's pupils are blown, and the way his eyelids are are half mast, watching Stiles as he-- shit, is Derek... Yeah, Derek's fucking got a hand in his own trousers and--

"Stop that, God, I can't--" Stiles clutches at his dick, hard and fuck, yeah that hurts, but it's better than this being over right the hell now.

Derek isn't saying anything, he's just stroking himself slowly. Stiles should know better than to lean forward to get a closer look, but he does anyway. Derek's fly is undone and his trousers have slipped low on his hips. He's going slow, so very slow. Languid, almost.

His gaze locks with Stiles's and doesn't break as he reaches up with his other hand, under his top to... fuck, is Derek working his own nipples?

Stiles sits up because if there's a chance he's going to come really fucking soon, he's at least going to be naked. He pulls his jumper and shirt over his head as one, the tie loose enough and enough buttons open that he doesn't get caught.

That seems to snap Derek back to Stiles and before he knows it Derek is helping pull Stiles's trousers and shoes off, and nearly pulling Stiles off the bed with the force of it.

Stiles hasn't really thought of anything beyond the fact he wants Derek, he wants to touch, he wants to taste, he wants to--

"Top or bottom?" Derek asks, voice low and fucked out.

Stiles blinks, fuck, he's not even sure he cares right now. He's never really had penetrative sex with a guy before, girls, yes, but guys? Not so much, it was always sloppy blowjobs and rubbing each other off and--

"I don't--What do you want?" Stiles isn't sure he really cares right now, he wants Derek however he can have him.

"I normally top, but if you haven't done this before, I don't mind either way," Derek says.

Stiles is sitting on the edge of the bed and Derek is still kneeling in front of him. Stiles's knees are bracketing Derek's shoulders and he has his arms wrapped around Derek, slowly scritching through the soft hair at the back of Derek's neck, the same way he would if Derek were in wolf form.

"That's fine, I mean, I've never done that with a guy, not like that. But yeah. I want to. I want you to," Stiles says, stroking Derek's face carefully. Derek's staring up at him and he can't believe he gets to have this, have this fucking beautiful man on his knees before him.

Derek stands up, and Stiles thinks he's said something wrong, except all Derek is doing is stripping out of his clothes. Stiles hasn't really seen Derek naked before. He's felt him, he's caught glimpses, but he's never had the chance to just stare and take all of him in.

Derek's fucking perfection, is what Derek is. He's built, just like Stiles knows he is, his thighs are fucking unreal, solid muscles that come from clinging onto and flying his broom without the use of his hands. Just... all of him, from the dusting of hair across his chest to the glistening pink tip of his cock. Stiles loves it all.

Stiles scoots back up on the bed, leaning back against the headboard with his legs spread. He feels so dirtyperfectwrong spread out like he is, waiting for Derek to come and fuck him.

Derek's eyes have been electric blue since he asked top or bottom and yeah, Stiles loves it. Derek crawls up the bed, so hard his cock is bobbing as he moves, slapping against his stomach and yeah, that's pretty fucking big, and Stiles would like it in him, soon. Because his cock has gotten to the point where it's now just dribbling a stream of pre-come onto his stomach.

He leans forward because fuck, he wants to be kissed and kiss right the hell now and Derek obliges. It's the filthiest kiss they've had, deep and dirty and it takes everything Stiles has got not to pull Derek down on top of him and just rub himself off. It'd be good, but Stiles wants to be fucked, he wants to be as close as he can possibly be to Derek.

Stiles feels a rush of warmth in his ass and what the fuck-- He pulls back, almost alarmed and sees Derek smile down at him. He looks over to his hand and doesn't see a wand, that means--

"Don't tell me that's the only fucking bit of wandless magic you know?" Stiles says, disbelief apparent in his voice.

Derek grins. "It's the most important bit of wandless magic to know."

Stiles snorts not quite sure how he feels. He can feel a bit of lube edging out of his ass as he moves about. "If anal sex is the highest thing on your list of priorities, then yes, it is the most important."

"Tell me it feels bad," Derek says, and of course Stiles can't, it feels... exciting. His ass is still as tight as it was before, but now when he clenches he can feel his cheeks sliding with the moisture.

"It feels... weird," Stiles says and squirms on the bed some more.

Derek smiles softly and leans forward for another kiss, slipping his arms under Stiles's legs and pulling them up, causing him to slip down and forward, exposing himself to Derek. The shock of the lubrication spell had pushed Stiles somewhat away from the edge, not enough to go soft, but enough that his balls weren't drawn, ready to come.

Stiles doesn't get all the awesomeness of this position until Derek leans forward and drags his cock against Stiles's. Holyfuck yes please. Stiles moans into their kiss and feels his dick twitch.

Derek continues at a tortuously slow pace, they're close enough that on some slides he can feel the brush of Derek's chest hair against his nipples and more, he wants more.

Stiles almost doesn't notices the loss of one of Derek's hands holding his knees up, he's got them clenched so tightly around Derek's waist. But he definitely feels the finger slowly rubbing against his hole and oh, Stiles doesn't know if he likes that, it's all a bit...

He breaks their kiss to focus on the feeling and feels the first breach of Derek's finger. Fuck, he's so tight around it, he's suddenly not sure about this, because how the hell is all of Derek supposed to fit? He knows the logistics, he's read the book, but this is different, he--

"Shhh, Stiles, come back and kiss me, don't worry about it, just focus on me, focus on this." Derek leans down to bite at one of his nipples and yeah, that's good, that's... Derek's finger is moving inside of him and Stiles really isn't sure about this. It's hard to stay focused on what Derek's doing when there's a finger in his ass... except it's Derek's finger, which means there's a part of Derek inside of him, and okay, yeah, Stiles can work with that thought. Latch on to that idea, keep his brain away from the new sensations the finger is causing.

Derek pulls out, mutters something and Stiles feels another rush of warmth in his ass. Stiles is so slick that even though he's still plenty tight Derek's second finger just slips in there. Fuck, okay, yeah, Stiles can fully get behind this. He's gone a little soft at the ass-fingering, because, yeah. But Derek starts stretching him, scissoring his fingers and fucking them in and out. Fuck, yeah, Stiles can get behind this.

Stiles is writhing on the bed, everything's down to the two fingers Derek's fucking him with, that keeps brushing against a spot that just... yeah, it's pretty fucking good. Stiles keens as Derek narrows in and starts hitting it more and more often and suddenly he's got to get Derek to stop or it's going to be over. He seriously doesn't think he's been this close to the edge without coming so many times before.

"Derek, come on, I want your cock right the fuck now. I want you in me when I come and that's not going to be long the way you're going," Stiles says, tugging at Derek's hair to get his attention.

It takes Derek only seconds to line himself. Stiles's legs are wrapped firmly around Derek's hips and Derek's holding himself up over Stiles with one hand, whilst the other is holding his dick against Stiles's hole.

Derek's thick, like, seriously thick. Stiles is almost thinking about asking Derek to maybe go to three fingers before trying this, when Derek's there, slowly pushing past Stiles's ring of muscles.

Fuck. Fuck this is like... Stiles throws his head back against the pillows. It hurts, even with all the stretching it hurts and Stiles lets out a low keening sound. Derek doesn't stop until the head has breached him.

Stiles can feel Derek peppering kissing all over his throat and muttering words of encouragement into his ear as Stiles tries to get past the burn. It takes a few minutes, and Stiles can feel he's gone soft but eventually he looks up at Derek. He can see the strain it's taking for him not to move. The burn has settled now into a dull ache, it still feels weird, but so had Derek's fingers at first.

"Go on, just... go slow," Stiles says.

Derek looks down at him and still doesn't move, he leans in and kisses Stiles gentle and slow, despite all the urgency from before. Stiles fucking loves kissing Derek Hale. Derek's muttering something against his lips and Stiles feels another rush of warmth, seriously, he's so wet he doesn't know how Derek isn't just slipping right back out.

"Bear down, okay?" Derek says and Stiles realises he's going to start moving.

Stiles does as instructed and Jesus, there's a lot of Derek. Stiles reaches up and wraps his arms around Derek, pulling him down so he's only propped up on his elbows above him. Stiles is feel pretty fucking raw and open, right now, both physically and mentally.

"You're going so good, Stiles, so good--You're so warm and perfect around my dick, so tight," Derek murmurs, his breath hot against Stiles's ear.

Fuck, yeah, he pulls his hips away from Derek and pushes himself back onto his dick. It's the first real thrust and yeah, Stiles is really ready for this. Derek takes the cue and starts slowly thrusting and wow. Stiles hadn't felt this connected when he fucked Lydia, it is like he can't quite tell where he begins and where Derek ends. They are pressed together nearly along the entire length of their bodies, Stiles arms and legs tangled around Derek, stopping him moving too far, but the grind is perfect.

Every small thrust rubs Stiles's hardening cock against Derek's stomach, he can feel the brush of hair adding extra friction, and the smear of his precome slicking Derek's abs.

"You don't realise how fucking beautiful you are, I'd keep you here, like this forever if I could. You were made for me." Derek keeps up a steady stream of praise against Stiles's ear and fuck, it's all too much, Derek's cock rubbing inside of him so good, his abs grinding against Stiles's cock, and the stubble rubbing against his neck as he whispers in his ear and shit, Stiles is coming all over the space between them, so hard he thinks he blacks out, or at least is so fucking disassociated that he doesn't notice when Derek's pace picks up, when he comes inside Stiles.

Derek fucks himself through his orgasm in stuttered thrusts, and then he stills, collapsing and letting Stiles and his legs take the bulk of his weight. Stiles can't stop touching Derek and he runs his hands over his sweaty back, over his face, in his hair, everywhere. He doesn't want to part from him, like, ever. He can feel the pleasure settled into him, the languid satisfaction in all of his limbs, and needs to be close, to cuddle into the man on top of him. He doesn't resist.

When Derek finally pulls out of him, they're both soft and he's followed by a rush of come and lube. Stiles expects him to get up and wipe them off, instead Derek lets his fingers wander over Stiles's puffy, sore hole, pushing two fingers inside to gather his own come and the lube out of him. He starts painting a little trail, up past Stiles's balls, his spent cock (that's too sensitive to touch, but Derek doesn't hesitate to drop a few light touches on it that have Stiles squirming) and to the smears of Stiles's own come that are sitting on his stomach and up his chest.

Derek mixes their come together and slowly rubs it into Stiles's chest and abdomen, he can feel it sticking the light dusting of hair he has on his chest, gluing it to him. His cock twitches, trying to get hard again despite how fucked out he is.

Derek leans forward and licks a strip off and Stiles groans.

"You're going to be the death of me, like, seriously," Stiles says batting Derek's head away. Derek just hums in quiet contentment and rests his head on Stiles's chest, just over his still racing heart. His fingers drop down to Stiles's used hole and rest there, dipping in and out and toying with his come. Stiles strokes a hand idly through Derek's hair, this is perfection.

"Love you, Stiles."

Stiles breath catches, "Yeah, me too, Derek, me too."

*

The first thing Stiles knows something is wrong is Scott plonking himself opposite him in the Great Hall. "Hey Stiles, do you know why Derek would be called up to McGonagall's office?"

He feels the bottom drop out of his stomach and he's not sure how but he knows this has got to be something related to last night. He feels a hand fly up to the bite mark that's sitting just under the collar of his robes.

"Shit, got to go, Scott." And he's dashing off towards McGonagall's office.

He smashes into Harris on the way but doesn't stop running. He thinks Harris is chasing after him but he's not sure until a hand grabs the back of his robes and stops him running.

"Mr Stilinski! What the hell do you think you're doing?!" He shouts.

"You don't understand, I need to get to the Headmistresses office now." Stiles needs to see him, he needs to... Derek can't be up there without him. It was him pushing the entire time and--

"Oh, don't you worry, I'll take you straight there." Harris says as he roughly drags him along the corridor.

Stiles finds himself at the statues that guard the staircase to the Headmistresses office, Harris mutters the password and marches him up the stairs.

He was right, Derek is sitting in front of McGonagall's desk when they get up there, head hung and shoulders hunched. She looks absolutely furious.

"What do you want, Professor Harris? I'm really quite busy, if it was not entirely obvious." She says, voice stern.

"This miscreant knocked me over and ran off like--" He's got hold of Stiles's arm still and tugs sharply on it. Stiles winces. It hurts, alright?

Except, Derek growls.

The whole room freezes and Derek's hand flies to his mouth, like he hadn't meant to. Stiles manages to shake free of Harris and rushes over to Derek.

"It wasn't him, it was me, whatever anyone--"

"Mr. Stilinski. Do you even know what's going on here?"

Stiles stalls. What if she doesn't know everyone, what if anything he says just confirms her suspicious?

"Well, I rather thought not. Well gentlemen, won't you take a seat?"

Stiles frowns at Harris, "I don't see why he needs to be here."

"He's your Head of House, and as you're so intimately involved in this matter," Stiles winces, "Then I think we both know he needs to be involved," McGonagall says, with a rather pointed look at Stiles's choice of seat. So he chose to sit next to Derek, so what?

"What's going on here, Professor?" Harris asks. He has no reason to sound indignant, Stiles knows he doesn't.

"What's happening, Professor Harris, is that I received an interesting complaint from one of our students this morning. He said he witnessed Mr. Stilinski and Professor Hale here engaged in... activities unbecoming a student and a staff member of Hogwarts."

Stiles winces again. One of Derek's fucking stalkers must have seen them kissing as he left his chambers this morning. Probably that total creeper Matt.

"We didn't--" Stiles begins before he realises his very presence here probably confirms there's at least something. Fuck.

McGonagall is nodding, like she knows he's realised he just implicated them both. "Indeed, Mr. Stilinski. As you know this is clearly against--"

Fuck, Stiles wasn't thinking, he can't lose Derek, he couldn't be just another fucking thing that Derek had that was ripped away from him. Not another item in the list of heartache that is Derek's life. Fucking, no. Stiles's mind scrambles for something to say, anything to say that would stop McGonagall from saying what she is about to say. He just wishes he has a better brain-to-mouth filter sometimes.

"The Tutshill Tornados arranged to have Derek bit." He blurts and fuck did he just say that.

Derek looks up at him, betrayal written all over his face, because what the fuck had he just said, seriously?

McGonagall pauses. "That's a very serious allegation, Mr. Stilinski. I hope you've got some kind of evidence to back it up?"

"I-- Derek, tell her." Stiles needs them to know, now it is out if anyone is going to do anything about it, McGonagall is the person. She obviously cares about her students, and Derek, she was the one to offer him the job here when there was nothing else waiting for him.

"Stiles, you shouldn't go making things up, it won't stop this, it'll just make things worse." Derek says, and Stiles can't believe he'd think that of him.

"Derek, no. I didn't mean to say this, not here, now, but I wouldn't lie. Not about something like this. I was speaking to Lydia--" A low growl from Derek. "I didn't-- she's really good at seeing things and I knew there was something I was missing. But think about it, tell the Headmistress, she'll see it too."

Derek looks up at him, staring him straight in the eye. "You really believe this?"

Stiles nods and pulls Derek's hand forward to rest over his heart. "Listen, you can hear I'm telling the truth. I believe your team arranged to have you bit."

Derek tells McGonagall everything about his werewolf bite. When he finishes talking McGonagall spends some time questioning him.

"For all that Mr. Stilinski is obviously trying to detract from the reason we're all in this room in the first place, I think he's got a point," she says.

Stiles feels relieved. He looks at Derek as if to say, see, I was right. He doesn't know what he expects to see, but the grief on Derek's face isn't it. Stiles is suddenly reminded with alarming clarity that this was part of the reason he hadn't wanted to tell Derek in the first place. Fuck.

"Professor Harris, can you please take Mr. Stilinski back to his dormitory and ensure he doesn't leave there. Professor Hale, please stay for a moment. I've got some things I need to talk over with you."

No, they can't make Stiles leave, Derek needs him here what if--.

"Stiles, it's okay, do what the headmistress says," Derek says, sounding so defeated and fuck, this isn't what was supposed to happen. At all.

"I... " Stiles begins, but what the hell is there to say?

"Come on you little brat, you're done here," Harris says, and Stiles lets himself be dragged out of the office.

*

It's been four days and Stiles hasn't been allowed out of the dorms except to go to lessons. It sucks. Lydia's pretty much a queen and keeps bringing him messages from Scott and his friends, but she doesn't have any news on Derek. He doesn't even try and sneak out to see him, because he's not sure if Derek's there, or if he'd be wanted if he did show up.

Stiles is laying on his bed, trying to focus on his Ancient Runes homework when Harris appears in the door.

"Headmistress McGonagall wants to see you, follow me." And exits the room, leaving Stiles chasing after him.

When they reach her office she's the only one in it. She excuses Harris despite his complaints that he should be present if it concerns someone of his house.

"Not for this, Professor, I don't think."

Once he's left she offers Stiles a seat and... doesn't say anything. Stiles waits a few moments for her to speak but he just can't take it.

"What's happening to Derek? Where is he? It really wasn't his fault, Professor, the whole thing, I was always--"

"Stop, Mr. Stilinski, please. Mr. Hale is an adult, and unfortunately so are you. There's only one more month left of the school term, and after that Mr. Hale will no longer be a teacher at Hogwarts."

"But, that's not fair, if anyone should be punished it's me, Hogwarts is the only nice thing that's--"

"If you'd let me finish, Mr. Stilinski, Stiles, he will instead be employed as the assistant coach for the Wimbourne Wasps."

Stiles is speechless. That's a massive step-up from being flying instructor at Hogwarts, that's...

"How?" He croaks out, voice having deserted him.

"Well, Stiles," she says, drawing him close like she's sharing a secret, "you were right, about the bite. The Aurors started investigations with the team members Mr. Hale had mentioned as being werewolves and one of them cracked. He admitted to being blackmailed into biting Mr. Hale outside of the hotel in Bulgaria. After that they fell one by one."

"But... that's horrible. What's going to happen to them?" Stiles can't believe all this has happened in just four short days. Why hadn't anyone told him?

"Azkaban, I expect, for the ringleaders; the news will break in tomorrow's Prophet. I might have had a small word with Mr. Wood, I believe you know him as the coach of the Wimbourne Wasps?"

Stiles nods, everyone knows who Oliver Wood is: he lead the England team to victory at two consecutive Quidditch World Cups. He's slightly in awe that McGonagall even knows him.

"Mr. Wood comes to see most Quidditch matches we play at Hogwarts, keeping an eye out for new talent. When I explained that Mr. Hale had been responsible for your improvement, he couldn't offer him the position quick enough."

"Headmistress, thank you so much. This is, like, the nicest thing anyone could have done ever."

"Don't thank me yet, Stiles, because I'm not entirely sure you will like my next piece of news. I had to inform your father."

Stiles slinks down on his chair. Oh god, his dad must have been--

"You are extraordinarily lucky, in that your father simply asked who the teacher in question was, and that was the end of the matter. He didn't seem surprised at all."

Stiles sits up in his chair, "That's it? He didn't... shout or, demand you fire Derek, or anything?"

McGonagall shakes her head. "No, he did not. And as Mr. Hale will no longer be a professor shortly, and aside from a rather illicit kiss I cannot prove anything else... "

"I... that's it?" He asks, he seriously can't believe that.

"Well, apart from one hundred points from Slytherin for your actions towards your Head of House, and ten points from Slytherin for being absent from your dormitory, yes that's it."

Stiles just sits there, dumbstruck.

"You can go, Mr. Stilinski."

*

Stiles doesn't quite know if he's allowed to go down and see Derek, but he's feeling oddly carefree after knowing that things haven't turned out quite as badly as he'd feared.

Derek isn't waiting at the door to his room by the time Stiles gets there and he takes that as a bad sign. Derek's hearing means he always hears Stiles coming long before he makes it down near his door.

He knocks tentatively and almost thinks Derek isn't going to answer. On his second knock the door slowly pulls open to reveal Derek standing there.

Stiles looks past him and can see he's already packing. "You're packing already?"

Derek nods, "I'm heading over to see Oliver this afternoon. Other than that I'll just floo back for the rest of my lessons."

Stiles's heart drops, he guesses this is a clear signal that Derek's done with him. Stiles isn't going to be childish to try and fight with him or change his mind. "Oh, well, congratulations," he says, and he doesn't think he's ever said such a morose congratulations in his life.

"Thanks. Is there... is that why you came down here?" Derek asks, and he doesn't sound particularly happy about anything either.

"I... " Stiles wants to be the bigger person, "no, that was it Derek, I'll... " His voice breaks, "I guess I'll see you around."

Stiles turns to leave.

"Stiles?" Derek calls.

He tries not to let the hope he's feeling show on his face as he looks back at Derek, "Yeah?"

"Have you ever met Oliver Wood?" Derek asks, and there's something almost... playful to his tone.

Stiles shakes his head, "No... "

"Well, I guess you will this summer," Derek says, a smile creeping onto his face.

"What do you... are you for real?" Derek can't be asking what Stiles thinks he's asking.

Derek nods, "I'm still not... that was a pretty shitty thing you did. You know I didn't want people knowing about... any of it, especially not Harris. But... maybe it needed to be said."

Stiles grins over at him, "Is that your way of saying you forgive me and you love me?"

"Maybe."

Stiles walks up to Derek and wraps his arms around him, "Admit it, you looooveee meeeee. Go on, admit it! You--"

Derek doesn't kiss Stiles to shut him up. He doesn't.

~ the end ~

 

 

Epilogue

Stiles can't wait for the game to begin. He's settled into his seat, munching at his nachos and trying to stop his dad from stealing any (seriously, his heart can't take any more fatty snacks so he is not getting a single nacho, it doesn't matter if he paid for them). It's Derek's first game as assistant coach to the Wimbourne Wasps and he'd gotten Stiles and his dad seats in the family section of the stadium.

"This is so exciting, aren't you excited? This is like--"

"Kid, if you don't sit down and shut up, I'm going to take all that delicious, processed food away from you and--"

"Nooooo, not my snacks. You can't take my snacks! You can't handle my--"

Stiles doesn't get to finish his bad muggle-movie tirade because he's interrupted by a tall dark-haired girl that he's sure he recognises.

"Hi, excuse me, is this seat B14?" She asks, gesturing to the one next to him.

Stiles nods, "You must be related to a player or--"

"The assistant coach, Derek Hale? I'm not sure if you know him. This is his first game coachingn" She says.

"Laura? You're Laura Hale?" Stiles asks and now he knows he can see the family resemblance. She has the same dark hair and sharp cheekbones.

"Yeah, that's me, and you are... ?" She holds out her hand.

Stiles takes it and they shake hands. "I'm Stiles, I don't know if he mentioned--"

"Oh! You're Stiles, Derek's said so much about you," Laura says, and she knows enough for his name, but he's pretty sure they both know Derek well enough to know anything else is a lie. Derek's never been very forthcoming with details.

"No, he probably hasn't. He's not the biggest talker."

Laura smiles over at him, "No, no he's not, but it looks like you're just enough of a talker for the pair of you."

Before Stiles can answer his dad is nudging his arm, speaking around a mouth full of nachos, how did he--?

"Look kid! They're about to release the snitch!"

Stiles looks back at Laura, but her attention is already fixed on the game. He peers forward, trying to catch a glimpse of Derek in the stands with the rest of the team.

Stiles can just see him. He's giving one of the players some advice, there's hand gestures and lots of sweeping arm movements. The player nods, a look of concentration on their face and kicks off, flying up to join the rest of the team. Derek watches her fly off, a massive smile on his face. He turns back and looks over at where Stiles is sitting with his dad and Laura. Stiles can see the slightly shocked expression as he registers that it's Laura sitting there.

Stiles waves a hello and Derek waves back. They're going to be just fine.