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"Uncle Ron!" Victoire called out, her voice bright and happy. Ron halted his beeline for the bar and turned to grace Victoire with what he hoped was a genial smile. Victoire beamed back at him, so he must have succeeded. It was all about the small victories, these days.

"I'm so glad you could make it," she continued when she reached Ron, before pulling him into a tight hug.

"Of course. I wouldn't miss my niece's engagement party, now would I?"

"Well, Léo and I thank you."

"Yes, we are very happy to have you here," added the handsome bloke at Victoire's side, his voice heavily accented. "It means a lot to Victoire to have all her family here to celebrate. It is good of you to come, given your recent marital troubles."

Ron grimaced. He would have expected the son of the French Ambassador to be more tactful, but Léo was known for his blunt speech. He fit right in with the Weasley family, though Ron could have done without being reminded of the sorry state of his love life not five minutes into the party. He forced a smile, not wanting to bring down the mood.

"Not at all, this is yours and Victoire's big night. Though I'm sure you have plenty of other guests to greet. If you'll excuse me?"

He didn't wait for an answer, just turned and headed back towards the bar, leaving the sound of a furiously whispering Victoire in his wake.

Truth be told, he probably wouldn't have come to the party tonight if he thought he could have got away with it. As happy as he was for Victoire, Ron wasn't really in the mood to be surrounded by a bunch of happy, boisterous Weasleys. It didn't help that the entire party was in celebration of Victoire's upcoming nuptials, and there really wasn't any way for Ron to avoid the bitter reminder of his own recently failed marriage. His and Hermione's divorce had officially gone through last week. He'd had several months now to get used to the new state of things, but he'd been with Hermione for over twenty years—of course it was taking him a while to acclimatise to life without her. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to get him out of the party. It would have been bloody obvious why he'd skipped it, and even he would have felt pathetic. Not to mention, the hell that his mum and his kids would have given him wasn't worth the single evening of peace. He'd reluctantly decided to make his appearance now and save himself the headache later.

So he'd dragged himself out of the tiny one bedroom flat he was renting—only until he found himself a proper place, since Hermione had got the house in the divorce—and came out to Shell Cottage for the celebration. Thankfully, there was an open bar, and Bill had always had excellent taste in whisky.

"I'll take a glass of Ogden's, neat," Ron said as he planted himself at the end of the bar. It gave him a view of the whole garden, which would hopefully prevent anybody from sneaking up on him. Harry caught his gaze from across the room and gave him a wave. Even from here Ron could see the sympathy in his best mate's eyes. He suppressed a groan and turned back to the bartender. "Better make it a double."

He took in the beautifully decorated garden filled with dancing, laughing people as the bartender poured his whisky, noting with a twinge of bitterness that Hermione had managed to get out of the family event. No doubt she'd claimed some important bit of legislation needed her expertise, and Ron was sure that was true enough, though it wasn't as if the work couldn't be put off for one night. The bill would no doubt still be there in the morning. But that was well-trodden ground between him and Hermione, her inability to set boundaries at work, or to prioritize anything or anybody above it. Not that she was a bad wife or mother—far from it—but she hadn't always been as present as Ron would have liked. It got bloody old, twenty years of coming in second to a stack of parchment.

Ron heaved a sigh and took a generous sip of whisky. He probably wasn't being entirely fair, but he figured he was entitled to a bit of exaggeration and self-pity, if only in his own mind. It helped, sometimes, to think about the reasons why they didn't work, especially when the pain of missing her threatened to hollow him out. And Merlin, for all that they were no longer right for each other, he really did miss her. He missed the scent of the fancy perfume that she always wore to family events like this, the one that he'd bought for her in Paris for their first wedding anniversary. He missed the warmth of her by his side as they mingled with family, and the way she used to rest her head on his shoulder when she was tired. He missed that tight red dress she would put on just because she knew how much he liked it, and the way it clung to her arse and signalled to Ron that he was definitely getting lucky that night.

Ron had long since accepted that their marriage was over—he'd even been the one to first suggest the possibility of a divorce, after years of marriage counseling proved more or less fruitless—but she was still one of his best friends, and it killed him to think that they'd lost that. He looked at the party around him and wondered if this was going to be the way it was now: Hermione providing more and more excuses to get out of family gatherings until she drifted away entirely. The thought filled him with a profound sadness. Things were awkward between them now, what with the ink barely dry on their divorce parchments, but surely it couldn't stay like that forever? They'd been through too much together to let their relationship fade away like a ghost in the sunlight.

Merlin, he was in fine form tonight, Ron thought as he took another sip of whisky, savouring the rich flavor as it slid down his throat. Trust Ron to manage to be bitter and maudlin at a Weasley engagement party. Apparently, he wasn't being particularly subtle about it either, judging by the wide berth the rest of the family were giving him. Harry kept looking at him like he was an abandoned crup, and even Ron's kids had been casting him surreptitious glances ever since he'd arrived, presumably to make sure he didn't have a breakdown in the middle of the party. None of them had actually approached him, though. Perhaps they sensed that he wanted to be left alone. Or, more likely, they wanted to actually enjoy their night, and they knew that Ron would only drag them down into his terrible mood.

In fact, the only person who'd managed to come near him at all, besides Victoire and Léo's brief greeting, was Teddy Lupin. He'd snagged the seat next to Ron at the bar not long after Ron had sat down, and, like Ron, he hadn't budged since. Teddy had ordered a whisky ginger and was sipping it slowly, his face blank as he stared out at the crowd.

Ron had always been fond of Teddy, with his big smile and constant curiosity. As a boy, Teddy had been obsessed with Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes; he used to beg to be allowed to spend the day with Ron as he worked. He'd been a surprisingly good companion, always eager to listen to Ron's stories and laugh at his jokes. Ron hadn't seen him as much after he hit his teens, though. Teddy had his own life, as teenagers are wont to do, and if Ron had been a suspicious man, he might have even thought Teddy had been avoiding him based on how thoroughly they managed to miss each other at various family events. It seemed like it had been years since Ron had properly seen him, and he took advantage of the opportunity now.

Ron couldn't deny that Teddy was looking good. He'd always been lanky as a kid, and though he was still long and lean, there was plenty of muscle packed onto his frame these days. His hair was a deep fuchsia, long on top and cut close on the sides in a style that should have looked patently ridiculous, but somehow Teddy managed to make it look suave and fashionable. His golden eyes were as sharp as his cheekbones as he scanned the garden, clearly not missing a thing. Ron knew that Bill had been training Teddy as a Curse-Breaker, and it was funny how much Teddy reminded him of his eldest brother. Not that they looked anything alike, of course, but Bill had always been the cool one, comfortable and confident and effortless. Ron could remember looking at him and feeling a well-worn envy, accompanied by a desire to be just like Bill. Only that wasn't quite what he was feeling now as he looked at Teddy. There was desire, all right, but not to be like Teddy. No, he wanted something completely different from the attractive young man sitting next to him.

Ron shook his head, hoping to shake out those errant thoughts. He ordered another drink. Clearly the fact that he was all alone at an engagement party was starting to affect him. Ron tipped his newly filled glass towards the bartender in salute and took a deep gulp. He did his best not to stare at Teddy.

He failed.

It really didn't help matters that his long-ignored bisexual side had decided to come alive with force in the wake of his and Hermione's separation. Ron had been aware that he swung both ways for more than a decade now, though, like most things, Hermione had figured it out long before he had. It hadn't bothered him, never getting the chance to experiment with men; Hermione had been more than enough for him, especially given that she had no problem with engaging in a bit of dirty fantasy. Talking about bringing a bloke into their bed and the various filthy things they could all do together had been a favourite scenario of theirs, though they'd never gone so far as to actually make the fantasy a reality.

Now, though, it was as if his libido had kicked into overdrive. Everywhere he looked there were beautiful men and women, and Merlin was Ron looking. He always felt a little guilty at first—decades as a faithful husband were hard to shake off. His brain might be taking a little longer to get on board, but his body was more than ready to explore what else was out there. Men in particular had been turning his head and catching his eye; perhaps because he needed something different, something that wouldn't remind him of the woman he was no longer with.

He watched as Teddy ordered another whisky ginger, and wondered if perhaps he wasn't the only one feeling out of sorts tonight. Ron knew that Teddy and Victoire had dated for quite a while, and though it had been years since they'd split, that didn't necessarily mean Teddy was entirely over Victoire.

"Okay there, Teddy?" Ron asked, feeling an odd sort of kinship.

Teddy looked over at him, a faint smile plumping his cheeks. "Yeah, yeah, I'm all right." Ron raised his eyebrows, and Teddy's grin widened. "Really, I'm fine. I'm not still hung up on her or anything. She's good with Léo. I'm happy for her."

"Then why have you been over here at the bar all night?"

"Why have you?"

"I asked you first."

"Mature."

Ron shrugged and flashed Teddy a grin. "I work at a joke shop."

"Fair enough." Teddy sighed and ran a hand through his hair, the fuschia strands darkening into a deep maroon as they filtered through his fingers. "I am happy for her, you know. It's only...it sucks that she's found her dream guy and is about to sail off into wedded bliss, and I'm still single." He gave Ron a wry smile before taking another sip of his drink. Ron couldn't stop himself from watching the bob of Teddy's throat as he swallowed.

"Ah well," Ron said after a beat, his cheeks reddening as he realised how fervently he was staring. "Not all weddings end in bliss."

Teddy's eyebrows rose. "Quite the sentiment to be sharing at an engagement party."

Ron grimaced. "Ah, yeah, well, I probably shouldn't be allowed out of the house yet. Hence isolating myself at the bar, where there's a reduced pool for me to spread my misery to."

Teddy smiled again, his cheeks dimpling and eyes sparkling as he pretended to look around. Ron's breath caught in his throat. "Just me, it looks like."

"Think you can take it?" Ron asked, the whisky making him bold.

Teddy's golden eyes darkened, something heated flashing in their depths that made Ron's belly flip. Teddy tipped his drink in Ron's direction, and held it up to his lips. "Yeah, I think I'm up for it."

They spent the next hour talking together at the bar, getting progressively drunker while the rest of the party danced on around them. Teddy was surprisingly good company, funny and captivating and entirely too attractive for his own good. Ron was almost sad that he'd missed out on getting to know this Teddy until now, but at least he was making up for it. Given the increasing tightness of Ron's jeans whenever Teddy licked at the rim of his glass or shot Ron one of his almost flirtatious smiles, well, perhaps it was actually a good thing they hadn't come into contact much while Ron and Hermione had still been together.

"You know," Teddy said, lowering his voice to a conspiratorial whisper as he leaned in close. "I used to have the most ridiculous crush on you."

Ron froze, his eyes widening and heart racing as he processed Teddy's words through his somewhat alcohol-addled senses. "What?"

Teddy grinned at him sheepishly. "Come on, you can't be that surprised. I used to follow you around everywhere like a crup."

"But that was when you were still just a boy," Ron said slowly, his mind still reeling.

"True, true. That was just a baby crush. It wasn't until I hit puberty that, uh, things got a little out of hand. Or in hand I should say." Teddy's cheeks flushed as he bit his bottom lip. Ron wanted to feel that bottom lip between his own teeth. "I thought you were just about the fittest person I'd ever seen. I couldn't even be in the same room as you without sporting wood. It was mortifying." Teddy paused, something vulnerable creeping into his voice. "Didn't you notice how I suddenly stopped coming round?"

Ron nodded, still shocked by Teddy's revelation. It was beyond flattering to think that he could have inspired such desire in somebody who wasn't his wife. And yet, Ron couldn't help the glimmer of disappointment that quickly followed. Teddy was talking about the past, and the Ron of ten years ago was younger and fitter than the Ron of today. There was no way somebody like Teddy could be interested in him now.

"Yeah, I noticed," Ron finally responded. "I just assumed you were doing the normal teenager thing, that you were too cool to hang out with your Uncle Ron."

Teddy gave him a sharp look. "You're not my uncle. It wasn't...it wasn't weird or anything."

"No, no of course not. I'm flattered, actually."

Teddy smiled, cheeks dimpling and eyes flashing. "You should be. But don't worry, I knew you were straight, so…" Ron made a face, and Teddy's eyes narrowed. "What?"

"That's not exactly true...the straightness, I mean."

Teddy's mouth dropped open into a perfect pink Oh, filling Ron's mind with all manner of delightful images. "Is that why you and Hermione…?"

Ron laughed and ran a hand over his face, feeling self-conscious. "No, that was for a whole host of other reasons. I like women fine. I just also happen to like men."

Inexplicably, Teddy's face flushed and he glanced away. "I, uh...me too."

Ron looked pointedly over at Victoire, who was dancing with her father across the garden. "Yes, I figured."

"Right, duh." Teddy laughed, before turning his keen gaze back to Ron. "So how long have you known?"

"Ages, now," Ron admitted. It felt good to talk about it. He'd never discussed his sexuality with anyone but Hermione, and it was hardly the kind of thing he could talk about with her now. "Though not until long after I'd married Hermione. I've never actually, you know, been with a man."

Teddy licked his lips, his golden eyes mesmerising as he leaned in closer. "Do you want to be?"

Ron nodded, his throat suddenly very dry. "Yeah," he rasped. "I think I would."

There was a long pause, and then, "Well, I'm more than available, if you want to give it a go."

Ron's eyes widened, and Teddy froze. He looked startled, as if he hadn't meant to make such a bold offer, but it was obvious that he was sincere. Ron just stared at him, his sluggish brain still working on resetting itself after the shock of Teddy's proposal.

Disappointment flashed across Teddy's face and he pulled away, clearly preparing to brush off his offer as a bit of light fun, not meant to be taken seriously. Ron could let him do that, could let Teddy drift away while Ron went back home alone to his cold flat. That was probably the right thing to do, the smart thing.

Ron had never been all that fussed with being smart.

"Yeah, okay," he blurted out before Teddy had a chance to backtrack.

Teddy paused. "Yeah?" he asked, a tentative hope in his voice.

"Sure, why not," Ron said, acting casual while his insides roiled.

Teddy grinned, pleasure taking over his expression as he looked into Ron's eyes. "Your place or mine?"

Ron's heart began to pound as the reality of what he had just agreed to began to set in. "Yours. My place is a mess." It wasn't so much a mess as it was a tiny, depressing flat that he hadn't even bothered unpacking. The thought of inviting anybody over hadn’t even crossed his mind when he started renting the place.

"Works for me."

Ron followed Teddy through the crowd, waving at his kids as he passed, and saying goodbye to Victoire before heading into the living room. His cheeks were burning; he wondered if they all knew what he was about to get up to. Did they know he was going back to Teddy's, that he was going home with a bloke, and one half his age at that? Or did they see Teddy and Ron together and assume Teddy was just being a good samaritan, helping his drunk uncle get home safely?

Teddy shared his Floo address, before disappearing through the flames with one last heated look in Ron's direction. Ron took a deep breath. This was it. Now or never.

He tossed a handful of powder into the grate, and called out for Teddy's flat.

A moment later, Ron stepped out into a small, cosy living room done up in natural, muted colours. Three of the walls were lined with book shelves, all of them overflowing with old-fashioned looking knick-knacks and stacks of impressively thick books. It seemed Teddy was passionate about his work as a Curse-Breaker, but that was hardly surprising, given what Ron knew of him. He couldn't imagine bright, vivacious Teddy would settle for a career he wasn't completely enthusiastic about.

"Would you like something to drink?"

Ron's gaze snapped to Teddy, who was standing in the doorway of a modest kitchen. He shifted his weight from one foot to another as Ron watched, his expression earnest and nervous.

Seeing that hint of anxiety somehow managed to calm Ron's own nerves. He may have comparatively less experience, but at least he wasn't the only one feeling a little out of his depth. Ron contemplated Teddy's offer. He was tempted to accept another cool drink and let the alcohol relax him even further. But he'd already had more than enough to drink over the course of the evening, and he hadn’t come over to Teddy's to get drunk.

He took a fortifying breath, walked over to Teddy, and pulled him into a kiss. It was clumsy at first—Ron was admittedly rusty and Teddy had clearly been surprised by Ron's sudden onslaught—but it didn't take them long to settle into a rhythm that had Ron's toes curling in his boots. For all his youth, Teddy clearly knew how to use his mouth, his tongue winding into Ron's mouth with sensual skill. Ron lost himself in it, in the slick slide of their lips, in the desire coursing fire-hot through his veins. He pressed Teddy up against the wall, crowding him back until their bodies were pressed flush together as they traded deep, hungry kisses.

Teddy moaned and arched into Ron, bringing their bodies into even closer contact. Their chests rubbed together, and the bulge of Teddy's groin slid against Ron's hard cock. The pressure against Ron's aching erection sent sparks shooting through him.

The mechanics of the kiss were the same as with Hermione, but there was no escaping the fact that Teddy was very much male; his chest was flatter and firmer, his hips were narrower, and there was the not-so-little matter of the hard prick pressing insistently against his own. Even the way he kissed was different: hungry and aggressive, with a hint of stubble scraping against Ron's cheeks that only served to stoke his arousal higher. It had been a long time since Ron had been so turned on, so completely out of his mind with desire.

Without warning, Teddy twisted, turning them both around until Ron was the one backed up against the wall, Teddy's strong, lithe body plastered against his front. Ron blinked at Teddy, taking in his flushed cheeks and lust-bright eyes. Fuck, he was pretty.

"What's with the change in position?"

Teddy grinned and arched his back, bringing their groins together in a slow, filthy grind. Ron's mouth dropped open on a shuddering breath and Teddy's grin turned predatory. "I was thinking I could blow you." He leaned closer, his mouth almost touching Ron's, and his eyes sparkling. "If that's okay with you, that is."

Lust speared through Ron, his dick twitching in his jeans at the prospect. "Yeah." He cleared his throat. "Yeah, I'm okay with that."

Teddy's smile was blinding. "Good." He pressed a soft, swift kiss to Ron's lips, before deftly dropping to his knees.

The sight of him on the ground, his face inches away from Ron's crotch, was almost enough to set Ron off right then and there. Merlin, he was far too old to be so close so quickly, but something about Teddy had Ron's blood boiling in a way he hadn't realised he was still capable of. It was exhilarating.

Teddy reached for him, sliding his palms up Ron's thighs in obvious appreciation as he nuzzled against Ron's groin. He blew, his breath hot and damp against Ron's trapped length as his fingers made quick work of the buttons. Ron's stomach flipped over on itself as Teddy shoved his jeans and pants down just far enough to fish his swollen prick out. Teddy's eyes went wide as Ron's heavy length bobbed in front of him, and Ron's chest swelled with self-satisfied pride. He'd always been irrationally proud of the size of his cock.

Teddy licked his lips and looked up at Ron through his lashes, and Ron moaned. A bead of precome formed on the tip of his cock, and Teddy lapped it up with his tongue, his eyes never leaving Ron's.

"Fuck, Teddy," Ron whispered as magical shocks traveled through his body.

Teddy quirked a smile. "Maybe later. Right now I really want to get my mouth on you."

Ron's entire body tensed in delicious anticipation. "Well, I'm certainly not stopping you."

Teddy wrapped a hand around the base of Ron's cock, his fingers strong and sure as he lowered his mouth onto it. Ron gasped as the overwhelming heat and suction sent his entire body into pleasure overdrive. Teddy kept going, taking in more and more of Ron's length until he was buried all the way to the hilt. Teddy's throat constricted around his cock before he pulled off with a slick pop, leaving Ron panting like he'd just run a mile.

"Merlin, Teddy, the mouth on you," Ron moaned, his head thudding back against the wall as he took in deep lungfuls of air.

Teddy's smile was quick and bright, and then he was on him again, swallowing Ron down and doing his level best to liquify Ron's spine. Ron had never had somebody suck his cock with such skill and enthusiasm. It was obvious that Teddy was into it, sucking and licking and doing things with his tongue that Ron thought should probably be illegal. Ron flexed his hands at his side, trying not to grab Teddy's hair, despite every instinct in his body screaming at him to do just that.

Somehow, Teddy seem to sense his indecision, because a moment later he grabbed one of Ron's hands and set it on top of his head. Ron took the hint, and Teddy's eyes smoldered up at him as Ron threaded his fingers through the silken, multi-coloured strands.

Merlin, this was just about the hottest thing that had ever happened to Ron. Teddy on his knees, looking young and sexy and gorgeous, sucking on Ron's prick like it was the best thing he'd ever tasted. Already Ron was perilously close to coming, tension building up inside as Teddy hollowed his cheeks and bobbed his head.

As he did so, Teddy reached down to unbutton his own jeans, before shoving his hand inside and pulling out his dick. Ron watched with rapt fascination as Teddy began to pull himself off, his long pink cock disappearing into a tight fist while he continued to swallow Ron down.

Ron wasn't sure which sight was more captivating: his thick cock stretching Teddy's pretty mouth wide open, or Teddy's hand flying fast over his lovely prick. He'd never seen another man’s erection up close and personal before, and yeah, it was a little weird, but it was also hotter than hell. Ron watched Teddy working them both over, his orgasm building fast and furious, and the want in him was so great, he thought he would have fallen over if he didn't have the wall at his back to hold him up. Ron wondered how Teddy's cock would feel gripped tight in his hand, what he'd smell like, how he'd taste. Despite all of Ron's dirty fantasies, he'd never much thought about what it would be like to go down on a man, but seeing Teddy's cock now, and experiencing the enthusiasm with which Teddy sucked Ron's own prick, he couldn't deny he was curious.

The thought of it, of taking Teddy into his mouth and delivering all the pleasure that Teddy was currently giving to him, was the final straw. His fingers spasmed in Teddy's hair and he let out a long, low moan as he emptied himself down Teddy's throat. Even through the deluge of pleasure he felt the beginnings of panic. Hermione hadn't been a fan of swallowing, and Ron knew it was only polite to give somebody a little warning before coming in their mouth. Teddy didn't seem too put out, though. He took it all, humming around Ron's prick as he licked him clean. Ron sagged against the wall, chest heaving and legs feeling weak and wobbly.

"I'm—I'm sorry I didn't warn you, I—"

Teddy made his way unsteadily to his feet. "Don't worry about," he said with a wink. If Ron hadn't just come, he was pretty sure that wink alone would have had him hardening in an instant. "I like to swallow."

"Merlin, Teddy."

Teddy wrapped his arms around Ron's neck and gave him a filthy smile. "That good?"

"Better than good," Ron replied enthusiastically. He took a steadying breath. "Let me return the favour."

"As amazing as that sounds, I'm not quite ready to go again yet. Though if you give me twenty minutes…"

"Again?"

Teddy's grin turned sheepish. "I sort of came when you did. Giving head really gets me going, and seeing you come was…"

"You're going to give me a big head if you keep talking liked that." Not that Ron was complaining. How long had it been since somebody had looked at Ron the way Teddy had been looking at him all night—like he was sexy and powerful and desirable? And for somebody as young and beautiful and lovely as Teddy to be the one doing the looking...

Ron stroked his hands down Teddy's back, jolting when he encountered the bare skin of his arse. Teddy arched back into his hands, and Ron squeezed, digging his fingers into tight, firm flesh. He wanted more, he wanted it all.

"Twenty minutes, you said?"

Teddy's smile was charming and wicked and delighted all at once.

"Maybe less."