Chapter 1 : Art, Love & a Cup of Tea
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Art, Love & a Cup of Tea
Louis Weasley was a tall boy, standing just under six foot. He was thin in the waist but his body carried a fair amount of muscle from his years of playing Quidditch and Muggle sports with his cousins. He had golden blonde hair, spiked up into messy points, which always looked so casually tousled, and icy blue eyes that twinkled when he laughed. His features were soft and feminine, making him bear a striking resemblance to his mother and eldest sister.
He was dressed in a pair of loose fitting, white jeans, that were speckled with drips of different colored paints. His long-sleeved, light blue shirt was also splattered with the same colors of paint and his feet were covered in nothing more than a thin pair of Christmas themed socks -though it happened to be June at the time.
The blonde was standing in a rather shabby kitchen, with dingy lighting and banged up cabinets. His attention was focused on two cups of hot water with tea bags steeping in them. He lifted the tags on each bag and bounced them in the water until he was satisfied with the strength, then tossed them across the counter into his sink. He whipped his wand out of his back pocket with a flourish and vanished the traces of tea that had dripped onto his counter, then stowed away his eleven and three quarters inches of rosewood with its dragon heartstring core back into his pocket. He opened the cabinet just above him and pulled out a near-empty bottle of honey and laid it down onto a carrying tray, then gently moved the cups to it as well.
Louis rushed across the tiny kitchen and pulled open his refrigerator, then frowned at seeing how little milk was left in the carton. He snatched up the offensively empty container and pulled the top from it, then smelled of it to be sure it was still fresh, before turning over the tiny bit into one of the cups of tea. He tossed the spent carton over into the rubbish bin and rummaged back into his cabinet for a sugar bowl. Two heavy spoonfuls of sugar fell into the same cup as the milk, then Louis lifted the tray and carefully, so as to not spill, he made his way out of the kitchen.
A smile flashed across Louis' face as he stepped into his living room and laid the tray out onto a wooden coffee table. The living room was just as tiny and shabby as the kitchen had been, but the bright lighting and excessive amount of dramatic colors made the room so much more friendly and welcoming. There was an overstuffed, bright crimson sofa, which he had bought out of nostalgia for his former Gryffindor home, and a worn out, blue and white plaid recliner, which barely got used on account of being dreadfully uncomfortable. Several throw pillows, boasting colors of orange, gold and indigo sat haphazardly around the sofa and recliner.
Along one wall was a row of large windows, opening up the room to natural lighting and a rather frightening view of a less-than-safe part of the city. In one corner sat an art easel and a large dresser with a multitude of paints, brushes and other artistic necessities on the top and throughout the drawers, along with a stack of blank canvases to one side.
“I didn't have much milk, sorry about that,” Louis said as he turned his attention towards a man standing in front of his easel.
Teddy Lupin had broad shoulders and well defined arms. He was a few inches taller than Louis and had thick, shaggy, black hair with the tips bathed in sky blue. His jaw was strong set and covered in a slight amount of stubble, which suited him more than smooth and bare skin ever did. His smokey, grey eyes were locked onto the painting resting on the easel and his hands were stuffed into the pockets of his creased, black slacks. His button down, white shirt was un-tucked and loose around his hips and his matching black jacket was draped over his arm. “That's fine, Louis, I don't mind it without,” he answered, his eyes never leaving the painting. “When did you do this?” he asked, quietly.
Louis gave an indifferent snort and dropped down onto the sofa. He popped open the lid on the honey bottle and turned it over his own bare cup of tea. “I did that one about three months ago. I was just changing the eye color, that's why it's back up there,” he said, waving his hand with a lack of care, towards the painting. He watched as the honey slid in a smooth line down into his steaming tea, then gave the bottle a squeeze to speed up the process. Once he was satisfied with the amount added, he tipped up the bottle to cut off the flow, then turned it over his open mouth to drain what little was left inside of it. “I didn't plan on you seeing that. I wasn't expecting company,” he muttered, his mouth full of the honey.
“I'm glad I did,” Teddy whispered, leaning closer towards the painting to see what Louis had changed. The painting was a detailed, and accurate, depiction of a werewolf. The creature was up on his back haunches, its brown, wiry fur caked with dirt and grime from the forest which was painted around it. The werewolf's mouth was open and his eyes were locked onto the full, blazing moon above him, giving him a clear appearance of howling. The eyes were painted in a deep, eerie yellow. “What color were the eyes before?”
“Red,” Louis answered as he stood up and walked over to the painting. He tossed a drop cloth over the canvas and shook his head at Teddy. “Come on, your tea's getting cold.” He pulled the jacket from off of the man's arm and carried it over to his front door as Teddy took a seat on the sofa. Once he had the jacket hung up on a coat stand next to the door, Louis hurried back to the sofa and took a seat next to Teddy.
“I want it,” Teddy said, pointedly, as he stirred at his tea and brought it to his lips. “I'll pay you for it.”
Louis shook his head and sipped at his tea, then settled against the arm of the sofa with his feet up on the cushion between them. “No, if you want it, then you can just have it. I'm not gonna make you pay.” He took another long sip and held his cup between his hands.
Teddy smirked at the blonde and rolled his eyes. “I certainly won't just have it. How are you ever going to get anywhere if you just give away pieces of genius like that?”
Louis snorted at the word genius and let out a huge sigh, knowing there was no point in continuing to argue with the man. “What do you even want it for?” he asked, shifting awkwardly with discomfort. He scowled and reached behind himself, then pulled his wand out and tossed it onto the coffee table. “It's a miracle I haven't broken that thing,” he muttered, settling back into his seat.
“It'll look great in my new office,” Teddy said, his tone a forced casualness.
“New office?” Louis asked, raising his eyebrows in confusion. “What new of- Wait, you got the promotion?” He sat up straighter and widened his eyes at Teddy, his lips pulled up into a huge smile. “You got it, that's so great, you were so sure it would go to that pompous, long winded, Mister I-haven't-the-time-to-care.” He shook his head slowly and tried to pull back his smile. “Teddy Lupin, you are one lucky man,” he said with a laugh.
“Me? Lucky? Nu uh,” Teddy laughed out. “If anyone's lucky, it's you. I'm kinda jealous.”
Louis gaped at the man and gave him a genuine look of confusion. “You just got promoted to the Head Healer of your ward and you're jealous of a twenty-one year old, struggling artist, who still borrows money from his parents to pay the rent and can't keep a job as simple as delivering Chinese food for longer than a month? Do you have a fever?”
“No, I do not,” Teddy answered with a sigh. “I mean that I'm jealous of your freedom. You have this fantastic talent and you have the time to develop it. You aren't constantly working or worrying or....” He trailed off with a small sigh and stared down into the shiny top of his tea. “You lost your job?” he asked, not looking back up. “I thought you liked that gig.”
“Yeah, I did like it, they didn't like me though.” Louis let out a forced and fake chuckle, then traced his finger around the rim of his cup. “That whole developing talent thing...sometimes I loose track of time. Bosses don't like when you're always late for your shift.”
Teddy put his hand on Louis' knee and gave it a small squeeze before taking a long drink of his tea. “I wouldn't worry about it. When you're living off your art, you won't need to deliver moo-shoo pork or toss the Daily Prophet or sweep up the local bar.”
“You're forgetting that brief stint I did as the towel boy for the Harpies,” Louis said with a loud laugh. “That had to be the worst week of my life.” He quickly tossed back the last of his tea and sat his cup down onto the serving tray he had brought them out on. “What brings you by anyways? Come to brag about your new position?” he asked with a grin.
“You know it.” Teddy returned the grin and shook his head. “I just wanted to hang out. Between your trip to your grandparents and that Healers' convention, I haven't seen you in almost a month. I missed you.” He let his eyes move out of the window and watched a small group of people as they hurried along the sidewalk and into a shoppe. Both sat in silence for about ten minutes before Teddy finally spoke up again. “How's Lysander?” he asked, taking a quick drink of his now-cooled tea.
The blonde shrugged and put his arm up onto the couch back, then pushed his fingers into his hair. “I dunno. Haven't seen him in a couple of weeks,” he answered, frowning at his lap. “We, uh...we aren't exactly...together anymore.”
“What happened?” Teddy asked, no sign of emotion in his voice.
“He doesn't wanna be with someone who can't keep a normal job and stands around all day doodling,” Louis answered, dryly. “Not that I blame him. I wouldn't want me either.” He laughed quietly and twisted a bit of hair around the ends of his fingers. “Not everyone can want me the way you do,” he added with a smirk, giving Teddy a playful wink.
Teddy rolled his eyes at Louis and sat his cup down onto the tray, the sky blue tips of his hair flushing into a baby pink. “You don't just doodle, you shouldn't say things like that,” he said, unaware of the change.
“I didn't say it, he did,” Louis said, smirking at the tips of the man's hair. “Did I embarrass you with that?” he asked, winking at Teddy again when he looked at him.
“No, why?” Teddy asked, looking into the blonde's eyes. “Is my -” He cut himself off and reached up, touching his hair. “It's pink, isn't it? Gah, I am never gonna be able to keep that under control,” he groaned. He closed his eyes and twisted his face in concentration until the tips of his black hair returned to their sky blue color. “Is it back to normal?” he asked, looking hopefully over at Louis.
Louis nodded and covered his mouth with his hand to hide his amused smile. “Yeah, you're good. What was with the pink anyways?” he asked as he pulled his bottom lip between his teeth and chewed at it.
Teddy shrugged and looked away from Louis, his eyes focusing back out of the window. “Do you really think that?” he asked, his voice hesitant.
“That I just doodle?”
“That I want you.”
“Oh,” Louis exclaimed, his cheeks tinting with a light red around the tops. “I was just kidding around. I didn't mean to offend you or anything,” he answered. He rubbed his hands over his face to rid himself of the blush and dropped them back into his lap with a heavy slap. “Don't get me wrong, there was a time, back in the day, that I thought you were all sorts of crush-worthy.” He twisted his fingertips around in the hem of his shirt and gave a quiet, nervous laugh. “That was a long time ago though, back when I was still in school and only really saw you over the Summer. I grew out of it though. Started dating, moved on.”
“Oh.” Teddy gave a small nod and shifted on the seat, his posture growing more rigid. “So like...when I was with your sister, or what?” he asked, nonchalantly pulling a strand of his hair into view to see that it was still tipped in the proper sky blue, which it was.
“Nah, it was after that,” Louis answered with sincerity. “I was a bit too young to be crushing on anyone when you two were together.” He let out another laugh and watched as Teddy's tips once again tinted themselves with the baby pink coloring.
Teddy leaned back against the sofa and turned his head to face Louis. “What are you grinning at me like that for?” he asked. When Louis' eyes flicked up to his hair, Teddy clapped his hands over his head and groaned. “It isn't fair. I shouldn't have this still happen after all these years. Y'know, everyone says that my mum could control her changes when she started school and here I am, almost thirty and can't keep it steady.”
“Ah, don't worry about it. I think it's cute when you can't keep it steady,” Louis said, playfully pushing on Teddy's leg with his toes. The moment that Louis' foot came into contact with the man's leg, Teddy's hair shot through completely with the sky blue that he usually reserved for just the tips of it. Louis squeaked out a high pitched chuckle and leaned forward, pushing his fingers into Teddy's hair. “You just went full blue, man,” he said, grinning so wide his cheeks were growing sore as he let his fingers play through the man's hair for a moment.
Teddy ducked his head and covered his face with his hands, trying his best to get his own hair under control. His strands shifted from their sky blue to a dingy green, then back into their typical jet black with the proper tipping, making Louis smile as he watched the change happen between his fingers. Teddy reached up and grabbed onto Louis' wrist, then pulled the blonde's hand out of his hair and gave him a sheepish grin. “You're making it difficult,” he whispered, unable to pull back his smile as he locked his smokey eyes onto Louis'.
“You're going to kiss me now? So incredibly predictable.” Louis let out a dramatic sigh and threw himself back against the arm of the sofa, then placed the back of his hand against his forehead and batted his eyelashes in the most distressed damsel way he could manage. “How dare you try and take advantage of a poor, miserable artist in his time of distress?” he asked, his voice imitating one of the old time Southern belles from the Muggle Westerns that his sister, Dominique, would make him suffer through when they were growing up.
“I wasn't gonna kiss you,” Teddy snorted, shoving Louis' foot away from his leg.
Louis dropped his hand to his lap and raised his eyebrows at Teddy. “Oh, you weren't? Well...what color does your hair turn when you are gonna kiss someone?” he asked, staring up at the man's unchanged locks.
“Why?” Teddy asked, his eyes flashing with fear. He pushed one hand into his hair and pulled down a strand in front of his eyes.
“I was only teasing you,” Louis said a laugh as he put his feet onto the floor and stood up. “You know what? Just forget about that silly werewolf painting, I have one you might like better.” He turned towards the door that would lead off to his bedroom.
“Wait!” Teddy cried out, suddenly. He grabbed onto the cuff of Louis' sleeve and gave it a tug until his eyes were met with the intense, icy blue stare. “I lied,” he whispered.
“You lied?” Louis asked, not breaking the hold their eyes had on each other.
“I was going to kiss you,” Teddy confessed.
Louis dropped back down onto the sofa and grinned at Teddy. “I lied too.”
“You lied too?”
“I never moved on.”
Teddy's lips pulled into a soft smile and he scooted forward on the couch, one hand raising to slip behind Louis' neck. He leaned towards the blonde and laid his forehead gently against his. “Do you want me to kiss you?” he whispered, his eyes staring deep into Louis'. His hair flushed with pink when Louis nodded, then faded back into the full sky blue that he wore when he was truly happy. “I wanna tell you something first.” He licked over his lips and raised his other hand to cradle Louis' neck between them. “I love you.”
A Note From the Author: Thanks for reading. Leave me some thoughts? :D --Jenna
“You're going to kiss me now? So incredibly predictable.” -Lorelai (Gilmore Girls)