January 20th, 2030 - 11 a.m.
The next morning, Albus decided to Apparate at Ottery St. Catchpole, rather than directly to the Burrow, because he needed a walk to try and clear his head, even though every step he took hurt like a bitch and his discomfort was evident.
He had a lot of things to think about.
Once he was walking, he mused about how a single night could change one person’s entire outlook on life and one’s identity.
Albus had met Vic at Cassie’s house, like almost everyone in their range of age did meet new people, and he had been immediately fascinated by the cold, standoffish Italian guy, again like almost everyone else: Vic was the kind of person one couldn’t simply ignore.
He was tall, boldly beautiful in a refined way few people were, and he dressed accordingly; but when he spoke, that was when the magic happened.
He was charming, witty, well-spoken, intellectual and semi decadent in his false modesty; Albus, who saw himself as the epitome of a boring person, had been attracted like a moth to a flame.
Vic had talked about every subject as he had spent time researching them, being able to give in depth analysis of every single one of them; at one point, he had even started to discuss muggle latin works, and how they connected with the magical ministry system. His eyes had seemed to sparkle.
Of course at the time, Albus hadn’t thought that attraction could be sexual: why would he? He had always had girlfriends, pretty ones, nice and sweet and so, so boring, but girls nonetheless.
What had surprised him was how much Vic seemed to find him interesting, even though Albus had felt woefully unprepared on a number of topics, talking to him all throughout the night and ignoring the countless other people who periodically tried to grab his attention – mostly males, that Albus had noticed.
When Albus had said he was going home, Vic had asked him to wait for him as he wanted to go as well and they could get to the apparition point together, so Albus had done exactly so.
Then Vic had asked him if he wanted to come at his house for dinner, the next night, and Albus had thought sure, why not, and when they had been ready to Apparate away and Vic had been slowly leaning into him, clearly giving him the chance to move away, Albus hadn’t taken it and had stood his ground.
He couldn’t explain to himself why: was it because Vic seemed to live life so interestingly? Was it because he had always spied the relationship between Rose and Amira with a stalkerish fascination? Or was it because, at the end of the day, he had loved the open showers after Quidditch practice?
He couldn’t say, but he had known something then: he was entering into really perilous territory.
He had tortured himself all day the next day, unsure if going would lead to the final step of his descend into hell, but in the end, he had given up and given into temptation.
And hadn’t that been a surprise.
Yes, he could hardly walk faster than an old man now and his bottom felt on fire, but he had had the best orgasm – orgasms – of his entire life (and somewhere deep down, a part of himself was really irked that the younger, Italian prat had been the one to show him how it had to be done), and he had been forced by Vic and his best-friend Elizabeth – who dated his brother; what even was his life? – to confront the fact that… well, he wasn’t exactly straight.
Ugh, what a can full of worms was that to open: he thought about telling his parents and shuddered, even though he knew they were open minded enough, considering how they had reacted to Rose. How had she done it?
No, that was out of the table: he would die with this secret, a happy death full of clandestine orgasms and Italian words whispered at the crack of morning – and yes, he would also handle the following pain, even though he hoped it would become easier with practice.
Oh, he had had fun last night.
Vic had told him to judge if he wanted casual after the sex, and he had been right: Albus never wanted to share someone that could do those things with his tongue with anyone else.
But at the same time, he was definitely not ready to have a gay relationship – he didn’t think even a secret one. He kept receiving waves of guilt by his subconscious, guilt for what, even he didn’t know, but since he had exited the house, the bubble had burst, and he was back at step one.
He felt… dirty would have been a harsh word, but it wasn’t that far from the truth.
Not dirty exactly, but like he had touched something that stained and nobody could see it but himself.
How was he supposed to handle that? To turn that underlying discomfort into pride?
When he stepped into the house – which had been expanded during the years and now looked even more twisted and ready to collapse at the first sign of wind than before –, there were already a few people, even though it was early enough.
“Hey, I’m here!” He hollered in the general direction of the kitchen, giving warm if distracted hugs to his grandpa and uncle Bill tinkering with the floo.
“Albus!” Shouted his grandma, exiting the kitchen in the usual mix of loud delighted shrieks and rambunctious affection.
“Oh, sweetheart! You look so good and healthy! It’s so good to see you! I was upset you didn’t come last week, young man.”
“Sorry, nana,” he said, laughing into her strong embrace and feeling already decisively better.
“Come on, come on,” she urged him towards the kitchen, where the kids mostly hanged, while the parents preferred the living room. “Victorie, Teddy and Hugo are already here!”.
Strangely enough, when he entered the kitchen, there were also Ron and Hermione waiving their wands to peel potatoes and chop vegetables.
He was welcomed by the usual round of hellos and he paid particular attention to Teddy, making an eye contact that spoke louder than words.
Teddy frowned but nodded, under the watchful eyes of Victorie who had caught the whole exchange.
Then, because Albus was a little shit and he missed being the annoying younger brother now that he didn’t see James as often as before, he dropped a metaphorical Bombarda in the middle of the tranquil kitchen.
“James has a girlfriend and he’s probably bringing her here, today.”
Chaos ensued, like he had hoped it would: Ron spluttered and a few potatoes dropped, Hermione burst out laughing, Teddy and Victorie right behind her, Hugo chocked on his pumpkin juice and Nana dropped her wand with a surprise squeal.
“Merlin, he’s good at keeping secrets.”
“Bloody hell, Ginny’s going to kill him.”
“Ohhh, you sneaky James.”
Albus smirked evilly and promptly explained, but refused to tell them who she was.
“It’s a surprise.”
“Bullshit!” Hugo said, ignoring his mother reproach of “Language!”
“It’s going to be good, then,” said Victorie, drumming her fingers on her small baby bump; Albus looked at her smugly. “Oh, you don’t know the half of it.”
“You’re such a little brother sometimes,” was all Teddy added, smirking as well.
January 20th, 2030 - 4 p.m.
It was hours later, after the proverbial shit had gone down, that Elizabeth caught him outside when she was storming out, and stopped in her tracks.
Albus simply nodded, defeated.
“Can I just tell you something?” She asked, taking a few steps towards him.
“You might as well,” he answered tersely, taking a drag from his cigarette.
“It’s about Vittorio.”
Albus immediately perked up, questioning. She made a small, knowing smile.
“He’s going to kill me if he knows I’m telling you this, so keep it to yourself. It’s for his sake, anyway.”
Albus nodded and she sat next to him on the fence, stealing a drag from his cigarette.
“Vic is…” She stopped, clearly looking for the right words.
“He is not an easy person to like: he’s cranky, snob, sometimes obnoxious and has the bad habit of being brutally honest, even when a person would prefer a white lie. But he also has the biggest heart of the world, once you crack the shell: he’s considerate, generous, encouraging and… well, he’s a good person. He deserves to be loved for who he is, and bragged about, and he deserves to be with someone who appreciates him fully.”
She stopped his protest with a kind but decisive gesture. “Let me finish.”
She waited for him to nod before resuming.
“He likes you, Albus, a lot: he only cooks when he wants to woo someone, and well… you heard what he said to you later. For how much he used to do it, one wouldn’t believe how much he actually doesn’t like casual relationships; and that, when he was talking about James waiting, he was talking from experience. If you like him, please don’t play with him: either you’re fully in, or you’re out. Don’t ask for casual, because he would say yes and hate himself for it later.”
Albus sighed, stung, but he knew she was right.
“I just don’t know if I’m… ready to go full in.”
She nodded “I guessed… but you either want to try, or you don’t. If you want, he’s going to give you the time of the world to come to terms with it. His family, for example… well, let’s just say they weren’t as understanding as yours seem to be. But if you don’t plan on ever outing yourself… you should move on with your life and find someone else to be your secret.”
Albus snorted “You’re good at giving others advices you don’t follow.”
She seemed ready to give him a nasty retort, before settling to say: “I will now.”; she rose from the fence and gave him a last hard look, “Don’t fuck with my best friend.”
Albus smirked, “Don’t fuck with my brother.”
She laughed, turned around and disappeared away, her body back in full fight mood.
All that was left to Albus were loud thoughts and Italian whispers.
Here we are with the third chapter! We see a bit about Albus’ reaction and a tease: we now know for sure that SHIT IS GOING DOWN AT THE BURROW.
Ahem. Let me know if you enjoyed!
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