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Cranberries and Chestnuts

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It was Albus’s fucking fault.

James had never planned to tell Teddy that he fancied him. Never. He was taking that secret to the grave. After all, he’d taken it to Hogwarts with him since sixth year, so why not just carry on that way for the rest of his life, the secret stuffed in his back pocket with the lint that also accumulated there and that annoying button that kept falling off of his winter robes. James was eighteen now, so he only had roughly another hundred years to try and not give away that he desperately wanted to shag his godbrother. Just a hundred years of not staring at Teddy’s arms, or shoulders, or his stupid lovely hands, or sitting too close to him, or laughing too loud at his jokes and fixating on his mouth when he talked.

Easy peasy.

James’s mistake, though, was letting Albus know about it. Which he hadn’t done on purpose, because he’s not a complete idiot. James was putting most, if not all, of the blame for Albus finding out on Lily’s stupid Christmas Wishlist Game which they had started playing some years ago and which was tradition. It was basically Secret Santa, only botched thanks to a fundamental misunderstanding by a young Lily regarding how the game was meant to be played; her version involved each participant writing down what they wanted from the person whose name they drew out of a hat and then hoping that said person would give them what they asked for. From the perspective of an ambitious ten-year-old Lily, it made sense to be able to tell someone directly what they wanted rather than just hoping for the best, and they’d been playing it every year since, always two nights before Christmas and often with hilarious results.

James had been both excited and terrified to get Teddy’s name this year.

Because there were a lot of things James wanted from Teddy, but none he was comfortable asking for, and none ― he was certain ― that Teddy would actually give him. Teddy was generous to a fault, true, and bound to try and give James whatever he requested, but James was sure that Teddy wasn’t harbouring any reciprocating feelings when it came to James’s weird and determined infatuation with him.

James dithered for days about what to ask for instead ― a belt perhaps, he thought as he brushed the end of his quill against his cheek. Maybe a book? James pressed the tip of the quill to the parchment, safe in the confines of the family kitchen, then bit his lip as he impulsively wrote:

Dear Teddy. For Christmas, I want you to fuck me.

James stared at the note, heart pounding as the words blared back at him, the ink black and perfect and totally illicit ― but as quickly as the impulse to write it had come, James scrunched the parchment up, smearing some of the still-wet ink with his fingers.

That was a stupid thing to write, not least because it would make Teddy insanely uncomfortable. Even if it didn’t, and Teddy was up for it, then what? James didn’t want Teddy to throw him some pity shag as part of a game his kid sister invented. James wanted Teddy, properly ― wanted to fuck him, yes, wanted to feel his lips against his, his cock hard and hot against James’s skin, but then to sit around with him all afternoon and do awful, soppy romantic crap like Albus and Scorpius did and which James pretended to hate. James desperately wanted that. So, James told himself as he lobbed the forbidden request into the kitchen bin and banished the thought from his mind. That was the end of that. He was just going to as ask for something normal, like socks, or a calendar.

On no account would he ever ask Teddy for what he actually wanted.

James barely noticed his brother lurking nearby, pretending to make tea, or that the crumpled note was mysteriously gone from the bin the next morning. James had bigger things on his mind, like wanking languorously over Teddy in the shower before getting ready to spend the next few days stuck with every immediate relative he’d ever met invading his house.

As soon as he saw Teddy’s face that night as they all opened their Santa requests, though, James knew it.

Albus had switched the notes.

The parchment Teddy’s was holding was crumpled around the corners, and the brief flash of ink James saw smeared and blotchy. The words were still clear though, and so was the delighted and almost hopeful expression on Albus’s face as he watched Teddy read. He’d switched the notes. Albus had switched the fucking notes, which meant that Teddy had not received James’s request for that statue of a duck wearing a monocle, which he and Teddy had seen while shopping the week before. No, Teddy’s face did not say that he was reading ‘Dear Teddy, for Christmas I want you to give me a duck with unexpected eyewear, please,” but that Teddy was in fact in current possession of a note politely requesting that he fuck James.

Please.

Oh, shitting hell.

James sat stock still, eyes glued to Teddy’s hands and the note they held. He was just wondering if he could somehow take out Albus’s kneecaps, Obliviate Teddy, then escape out the side door, when Lily interrupted the charged silence enveloping the sofa James and Teddy were sharing.

“So, what does James want, Teddy?”

“Nothing!” James blurted, itching to grab the parchment Teddy was still staring at. Kneecaps, Obliviate, door. It sounded more and more like a reasonable plan.

“No, he definitely wants someth―” Albus started, but James cut him off with a sharp elbow to the ribs. Lily laughed, oblivious. Albus smirked, rubbing his side. Teddy still hadn’t looked up, his only reaction the faint colour on his cheeks, the barest hint of mauve filtering through his hair. He said nothing, eyes locked intently on the creased parchment.

James wanted the sofa to swallow him.

“Go on, what does it say?” Lily asked again, determined. “Is it something embarrassing?” James cringed, mortified. Yes. “Or something weird?”. Yes. “Or something hard to get?” God, yes!. “What does James want, Teddy?”

“I told you, noth ―”

“A pony,” Teddy said quietly, his gaze still fixed on the paper. Slowly, he looked up to meet James’s horrorstruck eyes. “James wants a pony for Christmas,” Teddy repeated evenly.

James held his breath, Teddy’s face unreadable. There was deep colour on Teddy’s cheeks, but he didn’t look angry, embarrassed, uncomfortable. James felt almost light-headed at the sight of him, from the queasy, exhilarating thrill of Teddy now knowing what he wanted.

“That’s what you want, isn’t it James?” Teddy’s eyes never left his, his voice low and soft. “What you wrote on this note?”

James opened his mouth, then shut it again. He licked his lips, the words stuck in his throat even though he wanted to scream them out. He nodded instead, wiping one sweaty palm on his jeans.

Teddy’s eyes darkened, his lips twitching up into a heated smile. James’s cock was thickening in his pants. Beside him, he could practically feel Albus vibrating with happiness, the scheming weirdo.

Carefully, Teddy folded the parchment in two, eyes never leaving James’s as he slipped it into his pocket. James tracked the movement with his eyes, too wound up to breathe, to move. He jumped when Lily laughed again, loudly.

“You want a pony?” Lily cackled. “Since when, James? You don’t even like horses!”

“Nah,” Albus answered before James could choke a word out, “James loves anything he can really ride ― ow! What was that for?”

Lily raised another roasted chestnut, ready to pelt that at Albus’s head, too. “You were being crass,” she said archly, smirking harder when Albus laughed. She screeched when he launched himself off the sofa, aiming a dried cranberry down her top.

Teddy quickly filled the space Albus had vacated.

“Later,” Teddy whispered, lips close enough to touch James’s cheek, his breath lifting James’s hair. He tucked it behind James’s ear, fingers trailing down his neck. James leant into it, heart thumping.

“Later, Jamie,” Teddy repeated, and he was gone, leaving James alone on the sofa, his head spinning and his cock aching and his siblings covered in cranberries and chestnuts around him.

*

Teddy knocked on James’s door at midnight.

James hadn’t been sleeping ― he was too wired from Teddy all evening, from trying not to read too much into the brush of his arm against James’s or the glances he threw James’s way ― from knowing he was meant to read into it.

He’d never been so hard for so long in his life; it took everything he had not to wank as soon as he was alone. Instead, he sat on the edge of his bed in his PJs, and tried not to explode from anticipation.

He could practically feel his heart beating out of his chest when he heard the stairs in the hallway creak. He was up and eagerly at the door before he even had time to think.

Teddy was dressed for bed, for sleeping. His pyjama bottoms were thin, dark blue, his t-shirt white. James could see the outline of his nipples through them, slightly pebbled from the cold, could see the jut of his hip bones through the soft cotton of his pyjamas. James licked his lips, swaying slightly when he let his eyes track lower, to the shape of Teddy’s cock, just visible through the thin material.

Fuck.

“I have one question,” Teddy rumbled. James dragged his eyes back up to Teddy’s face.

“Yeah?” James barely recognised his own voice it was so low.

“Is this,” Teddy licked his lips, taking a step closer, “something you just want once. Just tonight. Or.” Another step, a hitched breath from James. “Or more than that? Because I don’t do one-offs. I don't want to.” Teddy searched James’s expression, his own earnest and his cheeks flush with colour. “Not this time, not with...”

Teddy trailed off, staring at James’s lips. The ‘with you’ was left unsaid, but sent a shiver down James’s spine all the same. James couldn't reply, a lump of happiness lodged in his throat, mingling with arousal and making him giddy.

“I want ―” James’s stomach twitched away at the brush of Teddy’s knuckles against it. “I want everything,” James eventually managed.

Teddy’s lips quirked up into a smile so fond, so familiar, it made James's chest ache, his stomach flip ― his cock throb.

“That works for me,” Teddy murmured, soft and sincere, fingers trailing up to James’s chest. James bit his lip on a moan, arching into it then groaning outright when Teddy flicked his thumb over his nipple.

James kissed him.

It was hardly finessed, or skilled. James knew how to kiss, had done it many times before, but he was too keyed up to co-ordinate it properly. Teeth bumped against lips, against jaw, as James kissed messily over Teddy’s chin, one hand sliding under his top and over skin. James groaned into Teddy’s neck.

“Do you have any idea how long I have wanted to do this, James?” Teddy said roughly, hands running over James’s back, his hips, his arse.

James tilted his head back, exposing his neck so Teddy could kiss down it. “Since that stupid game?” Since my stupid brother did something stupid and amazing.

“Longer.” Teddy bit lightly at James’s throat.

“Fuck.” James sat on the edge of the bed, pulling Teddy down on top of him with enough force to almost topple him over. Teddy braced himself on his hands, kissing James deeply and rolling his hips down against James’s groin. James felt Teddy’s cock against the curve of his hip, hot and hard and really happening and he bucked up against him, pulling desperately at Teddy’s clothes.

“What do you want to do?” Teddy kissed open-mouthed down James’s throat.

“So many questions,” James mumbled, frantically pulling Teddy’s top over his head and tangling his hands in Teddy’s hair when Teddy laughed softly. “You said you only had one question,” James repeated, pushing Teddy’s pyjama bottoms down with one hand, wiggling them down further with his thighs and trying to rub against Teddy any way he could.

“Okay.” Teddy kissed James again, toppling them onto their sides and pulling James flush against him. He eased James’s joggers down over his arse to rest at the top of his thighs. “How about we do this?” He ran his hand over James’s hip to his erection, conjuring a fist full of lube and running his slick palm over James’s aching prick. James nodded, forehead slick with sweat and hair sticking to it as he kissed Teddy’s neck, breath hot against his skin.

James gasped, high and loud, when Teddy pulled James’s cock between his legs.

“Oh god.”

“Yes, move like ―”

“Oh, fuck, Teddy.”

“Move your hips like ― Yes, that's perfect Jamie, fuck.”

James rolled his hips again, cock sliding between Teddy’s thighs, against the underside of Teddy’s balls. James’s breath hitched, hands gripping Teddy’s arse as he rocked against him and Teddy’s cock hot against James’s bare stomach where his top had ridden up.

“Teddy, are you ―” James rocked his hips faster, the feel of Teddy’s cock against him, of his own slick prick between Teddy’s thighs driving him close to the edge.

“Yeah.” Teddy’s eyes closed, lips tilted up into a euphoric smile and head tipped back. “God, I’m ―”

James groaned, balls tightening as he rolled his hips more urgently. Teddy curved his hand around James’s arse cheek, digits still slick as they trailed over the crease of James’s arse, then lower. He pressed them gently just behind James’s balls.

“Oh, Fu ― fuck,” James gasped into Teddy’s exposed neck, mouth open as he came. He bucked his hips once more, then again when he felt Teddy groan, felt his cock spurt against James’s belly. Teddy carded his hand into James’s hair, pulling him forwards and kissing him as they rocked against each other, hot and breathless, until rough movements turned languid and slow.

The room was dim, charmed warm, and Teddy’s skin felt like a furnace as they lay against each other. James wanted to say ’that was brilliant’ and ’you bet you're staying here tonight, and we’re doing that again, exactly like that, in the morning’ but he was tired, sated, half-dressed and yet so comfortable he could feel his eyelids drooping as Teddy whispered a cleaning charm then slipped his arm back around him.

There were a lot of things James wanted to say, but then Teddy smiled, lopsided and perfect and like he already knew it.

So James just kissed him instead.

*