Oh, no, what's this?
A spider web, and I'm caught in the middle,
So I turned to run,
The thought of all the stupid things I've done,
And I never meant to cause you trouble,
And I never meant to do you wrong,
And I, well, if I ever caused you trouble,
Oh no, I never meant to do you harm.
Teddy and Finn walked down the dark sidewalk briskly.
"Slow down," Finn complained. "I had to run five miles today."
Teddy looked over his shoulder suspiciously. "Can't. Dangerous time to be out at night."
"You literally spent all day yesterday placing protective charms with the other aurors over Alexander's house," Finn reminded him. "I'm sure it's safe."
"Skylar's been a target before," Teddy said crisply. "You can never be too safe."
Finn frowned. "Which house is his again."
"That one," Teddy said, pointing ahead. The house stood on a slight rise just at the end of the street. It stood on its own and looked over the rest of the neighborhood. It wasn't a remarkable or spectacular house by any means: it looked about fifty years old and was made out of brick. There were four windows set in the front and a white door directly in the middle. It was simple yet pleasing. There were flowers painted out front and the grass appeared to have been freshly mown. It was well-kept and lovely.
Teddy and Finn knocked on the door, fully expecting an angry Skylar to answer. Instead, Alexander answered. He looked at them apologetically before saying, "I'm sorry."
"Sorry?" Finn raised an eyebrow. "Aren't we the late ones," he said, gesturing to himself and Teddy.
"Skylar invited a friend," Alexander explained, embarrassed.
"For Teddy," Alexander said sheepishly.
Finn snorted. "Nice."
Teddy gaped at him. "What?! Doesn't she think I can get my own women?" he fumed.
"Oh really? When was the last time you went on a date?" Finn asked him.
"When was the last time you went on a date?" Teddy snapped back.
Finn put his hands up defensively. "Okay, fair enough. The two of us have been in a bit of a rut lately. It happens to the best of us."
"Well, Finn, fair warning: if this set up goes well for Teddy, you're next," Alexander told them."
"Alexander, hurry up!" Skylar called impatiently from inside.
Alexander stepped aside and allowed Teddy and Finn to enter. "We're coming!" Alexander shouted back, leading them into the dining room.
Skylar was already sitting up at the dinner table, holding a glass of wine delicately in her hand. "You're late," she told them, irritated. Her eyes narrowed on Finn. "I didn't know you were coming, West."
Finn grinned. "Nice to see you too."
Skylar waved her wand lazily and another plate and chair appeared at the table. "Well, I wish you would've told me. I would've invited another friend."
"Another friend?" Teddy raised an eyebrow.
Skylar beamed and stood up. "Yes, I have some lovely news. My friend, Mia, is visiting from New York!" Skylar turned back. "Mia, get in here!"
And that was when Mia waltzed into the dining room, carrying a basket of sliced bread. With black hair of wool and her head held high, her beauty was almost effortless. Her dark green eyes scanned the room with determination and her eyes rested on Teddy. Her plump red lips parted into a smile. "Hello," she said, her accent American. "I'm Mia." Her eyes shifted to Finn. "It's nice to meet you."
"Mia, these are my friends, Teddy and Finn," Skylar introduced them. "Teddy is an auror and Finn plays for the Chudley Cannons."
"Chudley Cannons?" Mia said, looking mildly impressed. "They've been having a very good season."
"Well, I try," Finn said smugly.
"It's nice to meet you, Mia," Teddy said politely, shaking her hand.
"Now that everybody is acquainted, let's have dinner!" Skylar said cheerfully, clapping her hands together excitedly.
Teddy and Finn exchanged amused looks.
Victoire unlocked her front door and entered the apartment. She was stilly carrying a brown paper bag with Omar's lunch. He'd never returned from his lunch break and their supervisors had told Victoire that Omar had gone home early because he wasn't feeling well.
"Omar?" she called out curiously. She figured he would have gone to her place rather than his. His roommates tended to be messy and loud, which didn't exactly make it the best place to be when you weren't feeling well.
"I'm in here!"
Victoire followed his voice into the bedroom. Omar was sitting at the edge of the bed, holding a bouquet of red roses. She paused at the door, stunned. "I thought you were sick."
Omar looked down at the flowers. "I didn't know what your favorite flowers were," he asked ashamedly.
Victoire smiled. "Daisies," she replied automatically, thinking of the fields of daises that her and Teddy used to play in as kids behind shell cottage.
"Daisies," Omar repeated sadly. "Right…"
Victoire forced a smile and stepped forward to take the bouquet. "But I still love roses, Omar. These are beautiful."
"Next time I'll get you daisies."
Victoire looked at him guiltily. "Oh, Omar, it's okay. I love these roses! They're beautiful!"
"Vic, what's wrong?" he asked.
"Nothing! I told you I love the roses."
"That's not what I mean."
Victoire sighed. "I'm homesick," she admitted.
Relief washed over Omar's face. "Homesick? That's it?"
Laughing, Omar pulled Victoire into a tight hug. "Oh, Vic, that's completely normal."
"Well, it still doesn't feel good," she complained.
"Maybe you should think about taking more trips back home," Omar suggested. "You always have weekends off. Or you can have your family visit more often!"
Victoire nodded. "I agree. I've already spoken to my mother. I'm going home this weekend."
Omar blinked, shocked. "Well, I think that's a good idea. If it'll make you feel better, then I'm all for it."
Victoire smiled. "Good. I'm glad." She shifted the flowers in her arms. "So, are you actually sick or…"
Omar chuckled lightly. "I just needed the afternoon off."
Victoire nodded. "Thank you for the roses. I love them, I really do."
"Good, love, I'm glad."
She yawned. "I'm really tired, though. I reckon I'll skip dinner and go straight to bed."
Victoire took a deep breath. "I also think I want to be alone tonight."
"I understand," Omar told her. "I think I should spend tonight at my own apartment."
"I think that's a good idea," Victoire said quietly.
Teddy stood up and excused himself to go to the restroom.
"Use the upstairs bathroom," Alexander advised him. "The downstairs one isn't working."
"Charlie thought it would be a good idea to flush his toys down the toilet," Skylar said, shaking her head.
Teddy nodded. "Okay, upstairs one it is."
"First door on the right upstairs," Alexander told him.
Teddy nodded once more and hurried upstairs. He found the bathroom quickly and locked the door behind him. Reaching into his pocket, Teddy pulled out the silver Witch Mirror. "Victoire Weasley," he said clearly.
The mirror blurred and a moment later Victoire's face appeared on the other side of the mirror. Her silvery blonde hair was pulled into a sloppy bun and she appeared to be in bed. "Teddy?" she said clearly.
"Oh, sorry, were you in bed already?" he asked, noticing her pajamas.
Victoire nodded sleepily. "It's okay."
"I didn't mean to wake you," he said apologetically.
"I wasn't asleep yet," Victoire assured him. "We can talk."
"Okay, good." Teddy craned his neck. "Is Omar there?"
Victoire paused. "Erm…no…he's actually spending the night at his apartment tonight."
Victoire furrowed her eyebrows. "Are you calling me from the bathroom?" she asked.
Teddy nodded and showed her the bathroom. "I'm hiding."
Teddy took a deep breath. "Skylar invited me to dinner."
"Oh, that was nice!"
"Was it? Because when I arrived, I realized it wasn't just any regular old dinner."
"It was a set up! She had a girl waiting here for me! And not just any girl…a girl she imported all the way from America!" Teddy ranted.
Victoire burst into laughter. "She set you up on a blind date?"
"Can you believe it?"
"Well, is the girl at least pretty?"
Teddy waved her off. "She's fucking beautiful. She's a model Skylar was friends with back in New York. Definitely not my type, though."
"Beautiful is not your type?" Victoire demanded, insulted. "Thanks a lot!" she exclaimed sarcastically.
"What should I do?" Teddy asked her desperately.
Victoire thought about it. "You're really not interested?"
"Not at all."
She shrugged. "Just get through the dinner as quickly as possible and leave."
"That's not happening. Finn is prolonging the dinner for as long as possible. He's getting enjoyment out of torturing me."
"Finn's there? Just pawn the girl off on him!"
"That won't work. He's still hung up on Sienna."
"Well, then, I suggest no longer accepting dinner invitations from Skylar."
"No kidding," Teddy muttered. "I can't believe she would do this. This is so awkward!"
"I think blind dates are always awkward."
"And does she think I can't get my own women!" Teddy shook his head in disgust. "I'm Teddy Lupin!"
"Arrogant as ever, I see."
Teddy looked over his shoulder. "I should probably get going. I've been in the bathroom too long."
Victoire snorted. "Let me know how the rest of your night goes."
He glared at her. "You're much too amused by this."
Victoire shot him one last smirk before her face blurred and disappeared from the mirror and Teddy was left staring at himself instead. Sighing, he placed the mirror in his pocket and opened the door. He left the bathroom so quickly, he nearly ran into Mia outside.
"Oh, sorry!" he said apologetically, holding his arms out to steady her.
Mia smiled, her white teeth glittering at him. "No worries." She paused. "I'm sorry about Skylar. When she invited me to visit her and Alexander while I was here, I never imagined she would trick me into what is clearly supposed to be a set up."
"Not your fault," Teddy told her with a grin. "This is typical Skylar."
"So," she said, "am I being set up with you or Finn?"
"Me," he told her, blushing. "Apparently, I can't get my own dates. This is so embarrassing."
Mia giggled. Her laugh was lovely and it made Teddy smile. "Don't be embarrassed," she told him. "You seem like a great guy. I'm sure you can get plenty of dates."
"Thank you. At least somebody thinks that."
Mia looked at him. "So, were you talking to the girl in the bathroom?" she asked.
"The girl I'm assuming you're still hung up on," Mia replied.
Teddy gulped, feeling pathetic. "Please don't tell Skylar."
Mia winked. "Your secret is safe with me."
"You're an angel," Teddy told her, relieved.
He started to move past her, but Mia grabbed his arm and gently pulled him back. "You're cute, you know," she told him sincerely, her dark green eyes sparkling mischievously. "If you ever want to move on from that girl, I'll be happy to help."
Teddy ran his fingers through his hair awkwardly, flustered. He didn't know how to respond to such a comment. Once upon a time, Teddy was good with girls. He was charming and quick-witted. He once kissed both the Fletcher sisters in one night and managed to sweet talk them out of their anger. Now, though, he was a blubbering, awkward idiot.
Mia beamed at him. "Who knows," she said, "maybe some fun will help you to forget all about her." She pulled him into an intense kiss. Teddy was pleasantly surprised by how soft her lips were. "See," Mia said with a grin, "that was fun."
Victoire flipped through the thick photo album her mother had made her. She paused at a photograph of her and Teddy. It was an old one. She looked about sixteen in the picture. They were in the field outside the Burrow, dressed in their Quidditch gear and carrying their brooms over their shoulders. Neither were looking at the camera as they walked down the field. Instead, they were looking at each other, laughing.
A loud buzz made Victoire jump. She set the album aside and reached for her buzzing Witch Mirror. Ebba was on the other side of the Witch Mirror, smiling eagerly at her.
"Hey, Ebba," Victoire said.
"Hey, Victoire," Ebba said. "In bed already? So, I'm assuming you and Omar finally worked things out?" she asked, winking.
Victoire glanced back at the picture of her and Teddy. "No, not yet," she replied.
Ebba huffed. "I don't what you're thinking, Victoire. If I had a man that looked like that, I wouldn't ever leave the bedroom."
Victoire rolled her eyes. "Is this what you called to talk about, Ebba?"
"No, Vic, I'm just worried about you."
"You've been weird ever since you got back from England. This can't just be about Omar."
"I promise you I'm okay, Ebba. I just think I'm having doubts."
"Doubts about Omar?"
"Doubts about Egypt."
"You want to return home, don't you?"
Victoire sighed. "I don't know. I'm visiting this weekend. We'll see how it goes."
Once dinner ended, Alexander offered to walk Mia out. As soon as Mia's long dark hair whipped out of sight, Teddy rounded on Skylar. "What were you thinking, Grey?" he demanded.
Finn burst into laughter, while Skylar crossed her arms haughtily. "I wouldn't laugh if I were you, Findley. You're next."
"Trust me, I do not need help in that department," Finn told her.
"Both you idiots need help," Skylar snapped. "And Mia is great!"
"Skylar, I'm sure Mia is a lovely girl—"
"Very flexible too," Skylar informed him. "She used to be a dancer before modeling."
"How in the world did you meet another witch model while in hiding in the muggle world?" Finn asked her.
Skylar shrugged. "She caught me smuggling butterbeer at a photoshoot once."
"And you invited her all the way from New York?"
"She's in town anyway for a runway show. She'll be here for a while actually."
"Skylar," Teddy said, "that girl is not even my type!"
"Teddy, you need somebody fun and a little wild. You need a rebound, nothing serious. You know, once upon a time, Mia was exactly your type."
"Maybe you've changed too much."
"You want me to go back to being that arsehole I was when I was a teenager?"
"No, of course not. I just want you to be happy again."