A/N: Happy New Year everyone! Here's the next chapter :)
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Sunday October 2nd 2022
He knew that it probably made him seem very creepy, but there was just something he liked about watching Ally sleep. She always looked so sweet and untroubled in her sleep. Even if in reality he knew that she was more than a little stressed out between the extra hours she had been getting at work, trying to find a new flat for them, and slowly getting involved with the Puddlemere United charity endeavours that Mr. Webb had suggested she join in on.
"Are you staring at me again?" Ally asked in a husky voice. She was still lying with her head on the pillow and her eyes were still closed.
There was a slight pause before Xavier replied hesitantly, "No?"
A smile found her lips and she cracked one eye open, "You totally were."
"Busted," He sighed.
She closed her eye again and snuggled deeper under the covers, "Well could you stop staring at me so loudly?"
Xavier smirked, "You still sound like you're half asleep Honey."
"I'm going to be fully asleep in a few moments," Ally responded. She continued to lay there for a moment but then she opened both of her eyes, "Unless of course you've changed your mind about going to brunch this morning . . ."
Her boyfriend's facial expression turned into a frown and he pressed his face into his own pillow, "Circe no. I'm not planning on getting out of bed until later this afternoon when we have to leave to go to the Burrow for your family dinner."
Ally bit her bottom lip delicately, "Are you sure that you don't want to go to your grandmother's for brunch?"
"Why would I want to do that?" Xavier asked, pulling his head up from the pillow and frowning at her.
"Because your family is going to be there and expect you there. Not to mention that, for better or for worse, Eilionoir is your grandmother."
Xavier pouted, "She still hasn't apologized for what she said to you, so no, we're most definitely not going."
"But she's your family Xav," She needlessly reminded him.
"And you're the woman I love Ally," He retorted back, "And since my grandmother doesn't seem to be able to accept that right now, I have nothing to say to her."
Ally frowned, "I still don't like this."
Xavier sighed and leaned forward to press a kiss to her forehead, "Just don't think about it."
Even though she really wanted to tell him that ignoring problems never works, she abstained from it.
They had decided to spend more of the day in bed, but that dream was dashed when not more than fifteen minutes later they heard the ringing sound of the flat's doorbell.
"We can just ignore it," Xavier suggested, his arms wrapped around Ally's waist and trying to hinder her from getting out of the bed.
"No we can't," Ally replied. She peeled his arms off of her and then grabbed her dressing robe before going to answer the door. She heard him sigh and then the pattering sound of his feet as he followed after her, once he'd grabbed his own robe.
He still ended up getting to the door before her, and when he opened it he frowned and rudely asked, "What are you doing here?"
Ally rolled her eyes, but decided not to chastise him on his lack of manners. It was Cecilia at the door and Ally didn't want to get between Xavier and his sister.
Cecilia didn't seem to mind that her older brother was being snippy with her, and she walked past Xavier and into the flat as she replied, "I just need to get away from Dad for a little while."
"Shouldn't you be at your grandmother's for brunch?" Ally enquired of Cecilia. She knew better than to ask Cecilia why she wanted to be away from Oliver.
Cecilia snorted and sat herself down on Xavier's sofa, "Yeah no. I'm not going to grandmother Eilionoir's today."
"Are you angry with her too?" Xavier asked his sister a little less testily once he had realized that she seemed just as despondent as he felt.
"With Grandmother? Not particularly. As I said, it's Dad that I'm trying to avoid."
Xavier sat down next to his sister on the sofa, "What's he done to upset you this time?"
"Nothing new exactly," Cecilia muttered.
"Are you still pissy with him because of what he said last week about not trusting Louis?" Xavier questioned a little unfeelingly.
His sister frowned at him and put her hands on her hips, "You'd be angry with Dad too if he said that he didn't trust Ally."
"This is different Cecilia, I don't think there is a father out there who actually trusts his daughter's eighteen-year-old boyfriend," he replied calmly.
Ally gave Xavier a look, "My father trusted you when you were eighteen."
"Yeah, well that's probably because we barely spent any time in the same place when we were together for that first year and a bit. You were at Hogwarts and I split my time between every professional quidditch pitch in the country," Xavier reminded her.
"My Dad also trusted you because he knew you," Ally stated.
Cecilia sighed dramatically, "Which brings me to my point. Dad's known Louis since he was born. If he can't trust the boyfriend I've had since I was thirteen, then who will he trust?"
Ally decided to add her two cents worth in here, "Cee-Cee, I'm not taking Oliver' side here or anything, but he is your father, and you are his baby girl. He's going to be protective of you-"
"Over-protective," Cecilia muttered.
"Yes, over-protective. But he only acts this way because he cares. I'm not saying that he hasn't taken this too far, but you have to remember that he only has the best of intentions. You just need to sit down and talk with him about all of this, once and for all," Ally suggested.
Cecilia frowned, "I've been trying, but I haven't found the chance to this week. He's been busy with work and I've been busy with work, and when we actually find time together Brogan's always around or one or both of us aren't in the mood to bring up the topic."
Both Xavier and Ally nodded understandingly. However, they were both happy when another knock on the front door interrupted Cecilia's chance to start on another tirade about her father. Ally got up to answer the door this time, and she rolled her eyes as she opened it wide to allow Malcolm to come in.
"Are any of you Woods actually going to go to your grandmother's brunch?" She asked more than a little sarcastically.
Malcolm snorted, his laugh sounding almost the same as Cecilia's had, "Please, why would I want to go to Eilionoir's brunch? All she's going to do is tell me that I'm getting both too pudgy, and too old, to not be finally settled down."
Ally had a hard time holding in her smirk, "Your grandmother told you that you're getting pudgy?"
"I tell you that my grandmother's pressuring me to propose to my girlfriend and that's what sticks with you Alexandra?" Malcolm retorted derisively.
"At least Grandmother approves of your girlfriend," Xavier complained.
"At least Grandmother's opinion of your significant other doesn't matter," Cecilia added.
Ally rolled her eyes and clapped her hands loudly until all three Woods gave her their attention, "Listen you three, you can skive off your duty to go to your family brunch this time, but you need to deal with your problems. This means that Cecilia, you need to put away time to have a conversation with your father. Malcolm, Xav, you two need to talk to Eilionoir. Preferably separately so it doesn't seem like you're ganging up on her."
The three Woods grumbled, but Ally could tell that they saw the sense in what she said. Shortly after that Malcolm and Cecilia seemed to decide that they wanted to continue to complain to their significant others, so they left the flat, leaving Ally and Xavier alone again.
"I apologize for my family," Xavier told his girlfriend tiredly as he sat down next to her on the couch.
Ally waved off his apology, "There's no need. You know that my family is worse. I'll probably be the one apologizing tonight after supper at the Burrow."
He smiled a little in reply to her joke, and he wrapped his arm around her shoulder to pull her towards him. She rested her head on his shoulder, and then they cuddled together on the couch for a few minutes before Ally began speaking again.
"Xav . . . I want to talk to you about our flat hunting," She began in almost a shy tone.
Xavier was sure that he knew what she was going to say, and he started to rub her shoulder comfortingly, "I know that we haven't found anything that we can both agree on yet . . . but I'm sure that we'll find something eventually. It's too early in our search to give up."
Ally put a smile on her face, but it looked more than a little awkward, "I wasn't about to suggest giving up Xav . . . I was just going to advocate for a . . . different approach to looking for a place."
"Such as?" He asked her a little confusedly, not exactly following nor liking her train of thought.
"I know that I'm the reason why we haven't been able to agree on a place as I've said no to all of the flats we've seen . . . and I think that the reason why I can't say yes to a place, is because I don't want to live in a flat with you."
Xavier didn't reply, and he was trying not to jump to conclusions, but he really didn't like what she had just said. Ally looked at him and noted directly the frightened look on his face.
"No Xav, I don't mean–I mean what I do mean is . . . I don't want to rent a flat with you, because I want to buy a house with you."
His eyebrows narrowed in confusion over his hazel eyes, "You want to buy a house?"
"Yes," Ally replied, the words finally coming out the way she wanted them to, "I want to buy a house with you, because I want to be with you, not only now, but in the future. Forever. I love you, and I want to marry you and spend the rest of our lives together . . . Xavier Oliver Wood, will you marry me?"
To say that Xavier looked more than surprise at her admission and questions would be a drastic understatement. He looked as though someone had sent a stunning curse at him.
Ally counted out the moments of silence in her head, and before she could get to thirty –the number at which she had promised herself she would check to make sure that Xavier actually hadn't been stunned somehow– he finally started to move.
First, it was a blink of his eyes.
Next, it was the licking of his dry lips.
Then, it was a gruff clearing of his throat.
Finally, he opened his mouth.
"Ally did you–did you just propose . . . to me?" His voice questioned unbelievingly.
Ally bit her lip, blushed, but determinedly met his eyes, "Yes I did. I know that you want to marry me and that you were just unsure of how I would react to such an offer. So I figured that I'd take out the guesswork for you."
"By proposing to me yourself?" Xavier repeated.
She nodded her head, but didn't respond. She hadn't actually intended to go the whole way and propose, she was just planning on reiterating how devoted she was to him to give him a push in the right direction, but hey, he definitely knew her long-term intentions now.
There were a few more beats of silence and then Ally started to feel apprehensive and anxious about Xavier's silence. She counted to thirty again and awkwardly asked, "So . . . what do you say?"
There was one more, shorter, beat of silence before his expression started to brighten and a smile began to twist on the edges of his lips.
"Yes. Of course I'll marry you."
Ally's eyes lit up and she reached toward Xavier to embrace him. He stopped her just before she could wrap her arms around him, and his expression darkened a little, "Only under one condition."
Her heart jumped to her throat, "What condition?"
"Malcolm and Clark and Mark can never find out that you were the one who proposed," Xavier said, his eyes wide with fright as he considered said event happening.
Ally laughed and she leaned forward to press a kiss to Xavier's lips, "Don't worry, I promise not to tell them."
"You're definitely going to tell Victoire though, aren't you?" He asked her.
Xavier rolled his eyes with an indulgent smile on his face, and then kissed Ally's lips again.
Just when Ally was about to wrap her arms around Xavier's neck, he pulled away, grabbed her hand, and began to drag her toward the bedroom.
Ally smirked wickedly, "Oh, I think I like where this is going."
"Hold your hippogriffs there Honey, we're going to be putting on clothes, not taking them off."
Her smirk turned into a pout, "And why would we do that?"
"Because," Xavier told her, turning to give her his patent and mischievous 'Wood' smirk, "Now that you're my fiancée, you're going to need an engagement ring."
Victoire picked up a bottle of wine, squinted sideways at it, and then put it back on the shelf before taking one step to the right and doing the exact same thing all over again. Teddy, who was standing behind her with his arms already filled with three bottles of wine, sighed heavily.
"Remind me why we came to Diagon Alley to buy muggle wine again?" He asked his fiancée as he watched her discard the latest bottle only to pick up another one.
She rolled her eyes in response, "Because this magical liquor store also sells muggle alcohol, and I'm not familiar enough with muggle alcohol to go to a completely muggle store. Therefore, it's not me you should be complaining to. You should be wondering why we have to buy muggle wine for tonight in the first place."
Teddy smirked at her and held his arms out further so she could place the third bottle of wine into his arms, "Now the answer to that question is easy. As you'll no doubt recall, tonight at the family dinner we're all going to be practicing not using magic to prepare for Christmas when your Uncle Charlie-"
"Brings his muggle girlfriend to Christmas dinner. Grandmum wants to make sure that there's no obvious magic, and that includes the food and drink," Victoire finished for him, "I still don't know why we were assigned the task of picking out the muggle wine."
He chuckled a little deviously, "You don't know why? Obviously this is your mother's doing. She's probably hoping that while we're here we're going to get into a further discussion about alcohol, and particularly what we will want to serve at our wedding. Have you not noticed that every topic of conversation with her in the last few weeks ultimately leads back to talk about our wedding?"
She frowned, "I knew that I shouldn't have talked to her about getting our financial portfolios in order for our impending marriage. She's like a niffler with a shiny galleon with this wedding planning stuff."
"Do we have enough wine now?" Teddy asked her curiously as he eyed the large bottles of wine he was carrying.
Victoire considered his question carefully, "Well considering that Dom will probably drink a whole one herself-"
"But it is a Sunday night and everyone has work tomorrow," He reminded her.
The two began their trek towards the cash, but Victoire slowed when they passed by the champagne.
"Vic, we need to be at the Burrow for around five," Teddy reminded her patiently.
"That's when we have to be there, but dinner doesn't actually start until six," Victoire pointed out before continuing, "I feel like we need to buy champagne."
Teddy would have crossed his arms over his chest if they weren't filled with bottles, "Why would we need champagne for our family dinner?"
Victoire shrugged, "I don't know, it's just a feeling I have."
"Then buy some," Was his blasé response.
"But why would we need some?"
Teddy shrugged, "I don't know. You're the one with the urge to buy it."
Before their debate could continue, another couple ambled by them, also blindly debating champagne. Victoire absentmindedly turned to glance at the other couple. Her eyes went wide and she shared a look with Teddy, as the wide-eyed couple of Giavanna Tracey and Chris Mullin stared back at them.
"Hey!" Giavanna greeted them cheerily in between sending Chris a specific look, "How nice to see you both again!"
"Hi," Teddy replied for his still-shocked fiancée, "It's, um, nice to see you too."
The two couples were both silent for a few more moments, and while Victoire and Teddy were trying to figure out how to politely extract themselves, Chris seemed to come up with a way to drag out the completely awkward meeting.
"So, what are you guys doing here?"
Victoire indicated the bottles Teddy was holding and superfluously explained that they were getting wine for their family dinner. She then belatedly asked them what they were doing there to be polite, even though she really just wanted to leave.
"We're here to look at non-alcoholic champagnes for the wedding," Giavanna announced in a lofty tone, while trying to readjust her hand so that Victoire could have an unobstructed view of her large engagement ring.
"Uh-huh," Victoire and Teddy agreed with a synchronized nod of their heads.
"Speaking of the wedding, you did receive your invitation, right?" Giavanna asked in a faux-concerned tone.
Victoire and Teddy shared a look and then the former replied, "We did, and we sent back a letter as a reply-"
"Oh," Giavanna said with a giggle and a wave of her hand, "That's why I haven't seen it yet. We've gotten a tone of mail since announcing our engagement and sending out the wedding invitations –lots of well wishes and congratulations from everyone we know– so I haven't gone through all the mail yet. I've only gone through the RSVPs we got back, and I haven't come across yours yet."
The part-veela and the metamorphmagus shared another look.
"Well . . . that's because we didn't send back the RSVP, we sent the letter instead. In it we explain that we are very appreciative for the invitation, but that we will not be able to attend. We made a previous commitment for the weekend so we will not be able to come," Victoire explained in as courteous a tone as she could.
Oddly enough, Giavanna's face brightened considerably when she heard this news, while Chris's expression visibly dropped.
Victoire could tell from one sideways glance at Teddy's face that he was as done with this impromptu conversation as she was, and just as she was trying to craft a hasty excuse, Giavanna cheerily asked her what their previous plans for that weekend were.
"We're going to America for the weekend, New York State. Vic had arranged to meet some people to do some research for work at the American libraries there and we decided to make a weekend of it," Teddy explained.
Giavanna eyed Victoire oddly, "You're going to New York and you're going to spend the weekend looking through some dusty old books?"
Victoire opened her mouth to reply, but Teddy beat her to it. He freed one of his hands and clasped her left one with his, "I can't think of a better way to spend a weekend."
She smiled at him in response, and ignored the appalled look Giavanna and Chris shared at their display of affection. Not even Giavanna was interested in prolonging their conversation after that –she had only been encouraging it in the first place because she wanted to flaunt the fact that she was getting married soon– and both couples said stiff and awkward goodbyes before separating.
When Victoire and Teddy got to the cash the former glanced at her fiancé, "Merlin I wish this was all over with."
"What exactly do you mean by 'this'?"
"The fact that Chris still stares at me like he thinks no one else can see him," Victoire explained with a revolted look on her face.
Teddy made a face as well, "Hopefully marriage and fatherhood will help him kick that bad habit."
Victoire wrapped her arms around Teddy's neck and smirked, "That muggle wine we bought is not half bad."
He smiled in response and walked her backwards a few steps until her back was pressed firmly against the wall, "How much have you had already?"
One of his hands clutched at the small of her back, while the other travelled up to curl around her loose blonde hair.
"Only about two glasses," She replied in a cheery tone as she suddenly yet smoothly jumped at him and wrapped her legs around his waist.
In response he pressed her back harder in the wall to help disperse her weight, and the hand at her waist slipped down to rest underneath her thigh, "How does it taste?"
A blonde brow rose up on Victoire's forehead, "Why don't you tell me?"
Teddy smirked in reply and slowly leaned towards her until their lips were just touching, "Or I could just go pour myself a glass."
Her hands slid into his hair and she forcefully grabbed a handful of the turquoise locks, "Just shut up and kiss me."
"You could at least say please," Was all that Teddy could mumbled out before Victoire's mouth attached itself to his.
In response to her forceful kiss, he pushed against her more firmly, making it so there was no space between their bodies. She let out a moan in response, and he took the opportunity to slip his tongue into her mouth. She tasted like wine, and like the small piece of the chocolate and vanilla dessert square she had swiped from her grandmother's dessert tray a few moments ago. The combined tastes were both sweet and slightly bitter, and he wasn't sure if it was the wine, the chocolate, or just her that made the flavour so intoxicating; but either way, he felt like he couldn't get enough.
"For the love of Merlin! Yeah, this definitely seems like you're looking for Grandmum's good table linens," Dom's sarcastic voice announced from much closer to Victoire than the elder sister would have like.
Teddy and Victoire's faces separated enough for the older sister to glare at the younger, who had suddenly materialized out of thin air, "Go away Dom."
"I can't. The only reason why I was able to leave Austin's fascinatingly boring story-time was because I said that I was going to help you to find Grandmum's table cloths," The younger sister explained.
Victoire sighed but slowly began to extricate herself from her fiancé. She couldn't blame Dom for taking the out that she did. After all, it was the exact same excuse that she and Teddy had used five minutes ago to get out of listening to yet another one of Austin's pompous monologues about how important he was at work. Their excuse was a lie, so Victoire and Teddy just hid themselves in the Burrow's foyer as they pretended to be looking for the table linens.
Dom sat down on the first step of the staircase in the foyer that led upstairs and took out her mobile phone, "Oh don't mind me you two. Carry on with what you were doing, I'm just going to wait a few more minutes until the coast is clear."
While Victoire did send Teddy a considering look, he shook his head in response. He wasn't going to go back to snogging his fiancée with her sister sitting three feet away from them.
The three's attempt to spend some time out of Austin Pennington's presence was convenient, because that allowed Victoire to be right at the door a few moments later when Ally and Xavier entered the house. Victoire immediately moved forward to greet her cousin, but she stopped short and her eyes went wide as she took in the large shiny object newly situated on her cousin's left ring finger, which must have has some magical spell that forced her gaze to pull towards it.
Before Victoire could scream her surprise, Teddy's hand came up and clamped over her mouth the minute he noticed the new addition to Ally's outfit. Dom noted the bling about one second after Victoire, and Teddy soon found his other hand occupied as he held it across Dom's mouth to stop her own loud reaction that had first sounded a lot like the beginning of a shriek.
Ally and Xavier were quiet and hesitant as they took off their jackets and kicked off their shoes, and once they were done Teddy finally removed his hands from Dom and Victoire's mouths. Victoire immediately launched herself at Ally, while Dom and Teddy excitedly congratulated Xavier (although still in a quiet tone because they didn't want to alert all of the other members of the house yet). When Victoire let Ally go, Dom scooped her up and Victoire almost jumped at Xavier as she practically strangled him into a hug.
Once the initial hugs and –quiet– squeals were out of the way, Victoire joined Dom in grabbing Ally's hand and inspecting her engagement ring, "Oh my Godric you got engaged! How long has it been?"
"Only a few hours," Xavier replied, sharing a sweet look with Ally that made the dark haired girl blush.
Dom rolled her eyes at the interaction, but Victoire giggled giddily, her eyes still locked on the platinum ring on Ally's left hand. The band was of medium width, and it had one single princess cut diamond in the centre. Despite the general simplicity of the band, the square diamond in the centre was definitely a show stopper. For one, it was very clear and absolutely humongous, pretty much as big as the diamond on Sandra's heirloom engagement ring. The second thing Victoire noticed was how sparkly the diamond was. In fact, the only reason why Victoire had noticed it in the first place was because it was throwing glittery refractions everywhere.
"Your ring is gorgeous," Dom told Ally in a distinctly envious tone. Not because of what the ring symbolized, but just because Dom liked expensive and shiny things; and Ally's new ring definitely fit into both categories.
Ally beamed happily, and Victoire told Xavier that he did well.
Thus, they were a cheery group as they walked into the living room.
Dom obnoxiously cleared her throat so that everyone in the room would look at them, and from there it was easy. Molly noticed the engagement ring first, and after her excited squeal there was a flurry of activity that acutely reminded Victoire of how her family had crowded around her at Sandra's wedding when they found out that she and Teddy had gotten engaged. They made such a fuss that soon all of the parents were also gathered around the newly engaged couple, including a very excited Angelina and George.
Ally and Xavier were pretty much passed around as they got hugs, kisses, handshakes, and sincere congratulations from everyone –even Austin who took that time to actually stop sounding generally pompous. Fleur and Grandmother Molly seemed almost as excited to hear the news as Angelina did, and George only teased Xavier a little bit about how his future-son-in-law didn't ask him for his permission before proposing. Xavier's ears had gone bright red at hearing that, but Ally soon swooped in and changed the topic slightly.
Once everyone had settled down, and all of the females had stopped grabbing Ally's hand so that they could appreciate her ring, Mrs. Arthur Weasley firmly announced that it was time for dinner.
Victoire glanced down at her watch, "But Louis and Cecilia aren't here yet."
"I'm sure they'll be here soon," Baxter piped up almost a little dismissively. Victoire found his reaction a little odd, so when she shot him a look that no one else noticed, her red-haired cousin just shrugged his shoulders and rolled his eyes in response.
The family members slowly began to make their way to the dining room, but Ally and Xavier soon found their way blocked by Lucy.
"Wands please," Lucy told the pair as she held her hand out expectantly.
"Excuse me?" Ally asked her cousin confusedly.
Lucy straightened her shoulders, "We're having dinner without magic tonight. To aid in this, everyone is handing over their wands so that they won't be tempted."
Ally rolled her eyes but she and Xavier produced their wands and handed them over, "What about wandless magic?"
Lucy smirked and then pulled two purple rubber-looking band bracelets out of her pocket, "Everyone's wearing one of these, if someone does do wandless magic it gives them a bit of a . . . reminder not to do it again."
Ally quirked an eyebrow.
"It gives you a bit of a shock," Victoire clarified with an eye roll of her own, "She doesn't trust us to promise not to use wandless magic."
Lucy's face told Ally that this was an argument that Victoire and she had already had that evening, "It's not that I don't trust everyone, it's just that I thought that a bit of classical conditioning might be useful. We're doing all of this for Uncle Charlie and we owe it to him to do our best to make it work."
It was the same argument she had used on Victoire earlier in the evening, and even though Victoire still felt a little hurt that her cousin didn't trust her not to use wandless magic, there really was no valid counter-argument that she could use.
Ally and Xavier extended their arms in Lucy's direction, and she slipped the bands onto the wrists of their wand hands.
"And these are supposed to stop us from using wandless magic?" Ally asked Victoire as she curiously inspected the band while walking into the dining room.
"Evidently," Victoire replied dismissively before smiling widely at her favourite cousin, "But let's get back to this engagement. I'm so happy for you–but also surprised. I would have thought that Xavier would have at least told me that he was planning to propose, if not ask me for help with it."
She ended her statement with a deliberate glower in Xavier's direction. The professional quidditch keeper's ears turned red with a blush, and Ally smirked wickedly at her fiancé as she replied to Victoire, "Trust me, Xavier did just fine on his own without your help."
The look on Victoire's face said that she highly doubted that, but she didn't say anything else about it, deciding instead to find a seat at the table across from Ally and Xavier and beside Teddy.
As everyone slowly began taking their seats, Dom and Molly specifically arguing over who would get the seat farthest away from Austin, Victoire's Grandmother Molly was still facing towards the direction of the front of the house, as if she could see through the walls that stood between her and the front door. Victoire glanced down at her watch and frowned when she noticed that Louis and Cecilia were officially late for dinner. It was a strange occurrence since Cecilia, if not Louis, was always on time for absolutely everything.
Just before Grandmother Molly would have to make the decision on whether or not to start dinner without Louis and Cecilia, said tardy couple finally made their entrance. The two apologized profusely for several minutes before they sat down at the table, and their apologizes were interspersed with jibes about being late from Dom and Baxter, and reassurances from Grandmother Molly that they were not exactly completely late.
Lucy was able to quiet everyone down not too long later when she demanded that Louis and Cecilia hand over their wands to her. Neither latecomer looked as though they wanted to give over their wands, but they acquiesced with less arguments that Victoire and Dom had because they were already embarrassed about coming in late and without an excuse.
Victoire smiled mysteriously as she watched Cecilia carefully. Everyone had begun filling their plates and glasses up with food and drink, but Victoire moved more slowly. She was waiting to see when Cecilia would notice the new addition to Ally's hand.
As it was, most of them had barely had the opportunity to try a bite of the food before Cecilia's fork fell out of her limp hand and loudly clanked as it hit the rim of her plate. The people seated closest to her stopped what they were doing and stared at Cecilia. Her mouth had popped open (thankfully there was no food in there) and her eyes brown eyes were wide. Beside her Louis also looked surprised, but he didn't look as flabbergasted as his girlfriend.
"Ally . . . what's that on your left hand?" Cecilia asked in an almost robotic tone of voice.
Ally shared a sweet smile with Xavier, and nodded her head in the direction of her fiancé's younger sister.
"That is Ally's engagement ring," Xavier answered his sister matter-of-factly.
Cecilia picked up her fork and closed her mouth enough so that she wouldn't hurt her jaw. She stabbed a piece of potato with her fork, chewed it, swallowed, and then said, "So who is Ally engaged to?"
Xavier rolled his eyes, "To me, Dummy."
His sister smirked, "Well congratulations then. Although I'm really wondering how you went about it since I saw you earlier this morning and there wasn't a ring on her finger."
"It was spontaneous, but it was perfect," Ally replied with another loving smile in Xavier's direction.
"Well I'm already over this," Dom announced as she made a disgusted face at Ally and Xavier's display of affection.
The couple in question just rolled their eyes, and the pause allowed Louis to offer his sincere congratulations as well. Cecilia then asked whether her and Xavier's parents had heard about the engagement yet, to which her brother replied that they were going to stop by their house later that evening to tell them in person. Ally added that she wrote separate letters to Freddie and Lily about the engagement. The letter to Freddie was more personal because he was her younger brother, and the letter to Lily shorter because she assumed that if Freddie didn't, that Lily would quickly let the rest of their family members at Hogwarts know about the engagement.
"How are the kids at Hogwarts?" Grandmother Molly asked Victoire curiously a few moments after overhearing Ally mention Freddie and Lily.
It was well-known by then that Victoire had visited Hogwarts the day before to do some research for her healing project.
"They seem fine. I only saw James, Freddie, and Rose though," Victoire replied dismissively.
"No Al? He usually spends most of his time with Rose, especially if they're studying," Baxter commented nosily.
Victoire did her best to hold in a sigh and said, "No, Al was most definitely not with Rose."
The later part was muttered more to herself, and it seemed that only Ally and Cecilia had picked up on the fact that there was something more going on in Victoire's words.
"So Ally," Molly began cheerily during the pause in conversation, "Have you and Xavier made any plans on when you're going to get married?"
Cecilia, Dom, and Victoire's heads perked up at hearing Molly's question, and soon Ally had all of her cousin's eyes on her.
"We just got engaged this morning guys," Ally explained slowly.
Her words had the opposite effect as the older adults at the other end of the table stopped their discussions and looked at the newly engaged couple.
"But how long are you planning to wait to get married?" Angelina asked her daughter gently, her eyes quickly darting towards Victoire and Teddy and then back to Ally.
There was silence along the whole table. Victoire could feel more than a few eyes on her, but she ignored it for the moment and thought that it was still Ally's turn to talk.
Ally glanced at Xavier, "Well, obviously we're not getting married anytime soon, and it will take a while to plan a wedding of course . . ."
"Not to mention that it would probably be best to do it in the summer because some of your family is still at Hogwarts for eight months of the year, for the next few years," Xavier added.
Ally nodded, "And quidditch is less crazy in the summer so again, better to be in the summer . . ."
"So this summer?" George asked, pretty sure that that was how the conversation was going.
Xavier and Ally shared a look again and it seemed that, despite Ally's comment about just getting engaged that morning, they had talked about a wedding date at some point that day.
"Well . . . this summer is the Quidditch World Cup and we're hoping that Xavier will be busy with that . . ." Ally mused shyly.
"So the summer after that?" Angelina asked in a blatantly worried tone.
Victoire felt even more eyes on her this time since 'in two summers' was when she and Teddy were going to have their wedding. One of the pairs of eyes was Ally, so Victoire took that as her cue to finally say something.
"In that case you and Xavier can have the big fancy family wedding, and Teddy and I can elope," Victoire reasoned with an agreeable nod.
Ally narrowed her eyes at her cousin, "Or, you and Teddy could have the big fancy family wedding, and Xav and I can elope."
Dom, Molly, and Baxter started snickering, but the seriousness of Fleur's next words stopped them cold.
"No one ees elopeeng."
Even though it was Fleur that spoke, and who sent a stern glare at Victoire, Angelina actually looked like she agreed with her sister-in-law.
"Maman's right," Victoire said with a smile as she reached across the table and grabbed Ally's hand, "I'm sure that we'll be able to handle two weddings in one summer."
Although Victoire's words were sweet and it was obvious from Ally's face that she appreciated her cousin's words, Baxter decided that there was still a bit of tension in the room that needed to be cut.
"You could always have a double-wedding."
Both engaged couples' faces froze in shock and all four of them started shaking their heads at the same time.
"No, no, no, no, no, no, no."
"Can you imagine how crazy that would be?" Dom asked with a smirk on her face as she imagined it, "A wedding with the whole Weasley family, the whole Wood family, and all of our French relatives?"
Baxter grinned, "That's literally going to happen when Cecilia and Louis get married."
It was Cecilia and Louis's turn to be put in the spotlight, and Ally and Victoire quickly told the other flabbergasted-looking couple, "Don't do it. Elope instead."
Lucy rolled her eyes at where their discussion had led to, "Obviously if that does happen, it's not going to happen for a very long time, so why are we even discussing it?"
Victoire rolled her eyes at her cousin's abrasiveness, but the conversation slowly changed to more mundane topics, and dinner continued. It had been going on rather well once the topic of wedding planning died down, until Victoire tried to use wandless magic to summon a bottle of wine closer to her.
"Ouch!" She called in pain as she dropped her wineglass, it landed on the table and cracked up the side. She looked disbelieving at her left wrist where she wore the purple band that Lucy had insisted they all wear that night to stop them from using wandless magic. There wasn't much pain left, but she had felt a distinctive shock when she was halfway through casually summoning the wine bottle.
Lucy just gave her elder cousin a contemptuous look, "I told you not to use wandless magic."
"Well I didn't really mean to," Victoire countered with a frown at her cousin as she reflexively held the area of skin on her wrist that still stung, "I mean I did intend to summon the wine, but it didn't exactly connect in my mind that it was wandless magic, and that I would get shocked for it."
"That's exactly why I knew we needed to wear these bracelets, you guys use wandless magic so casually that you're definitely going to give us away at Christmas to Uncle Charlie's girlfriend," Lucy continued.
Victoire scoffed, "I know better than to use magic in front of a muggle."
As she said that, Teddy absentmindedly picked up Victoire's wineglass and tried to heal the crack. He accomplished his goal, but then he was immediately shocked for it.
"Bloody Hell that does hurt," Teddy exclaimed, shaking his wrist out.
Louis raised an eyebrow, "Why would you do that then?"
"Because her glass was broken," Teddy explained, setting said wineglass back down and frowning at the purple band on his wrist, "Where did you even get these anyway Lucy?"
Lucy shrugged, "I bought the bracelets and then added the shock charm whenever magic was used."
"Clever," Victoire finally admitted with a nod of support to Lucy, "Painful. But clever."
Lucy looked like she was almost beaming with her cousin's approval, but Austin quickly quashed it.
"Where did you get the bracelets?" Austin asked with an unreadable expression on his face.
"I don't remember exactly. I thought of the idea so suddenly that I just popped into a muggle dollar store that was close and grabbed the bracelets. Why?" Lucy questioned.
Austin frowned and, realizing that he had the attention of most of 'the kids', puffed his chest out a bit as he replied in an authoritative voice, "Because, putting magical charms on muggle objects is a violation of Wizarding law."
Lucy blinked uncomprehendingly for a moment while Molly defended her, "It's a band of purple rubber. She could have easily transfigured it herself, but it was just more convenient to buy them."
"It was still technically illegal," Austin pointed out unfailingly.
Baxter frowned at his sister's boyfriend and then glanced at Louis, "Are you going to arrest Lucy for that?"
Louis snorted, "No. Besides, I don't exactly have the authority to do that just yet." He glanced at Teddy, "How about you?"
"Since there's no dark magic here it's not Auror Department territory, so there's nothing I can do," Teddy replied with a casual shrug as he went back to eating his carrots.
Dom sent Austin a smirk, "Well it looks like there's nothing to be done here."
Austin rolled his eyes and muttered, "I was just telling the truth. Obviously I don't want Lucy to get arrested."
"Obviously," Victoire scoffed under her breath as she rolled her eyes at Austin.
Teddy heard her and grabbed her hand so he could give it a tight squeeze, "Just ignore him."
"That would be easier to do if I could put a silencing charm on him."
Victoire was rubbing her sore wrist carefully and muttering under her breath when Ally found her standing by herself on the back porch of the Burrow. She had gotten shocked about a dozen more times by the time dinner finished. Half of them were because she had accidentally tried to use wandless magic for things she didn't realize she always used wandless magic for, and roughly the other half was because her hands tried to catch flame with veela fire when Austin would say something stupid and anger her.
One time she got shocked because she actually went through with putting a silencing charm on Austin, and she was standing outside by herself because she knew she needed to cool off before going back in. It was a slight bonus because she was missing out on cleaning up after dinner, although said cleaning up was much easier when Grandmum Molly announced that Lucy should give everyone their wands back to make the clean-up easier.
"Is this a bad time?" Ally asked her favourite cousin softly as she came to stand beside her.
Victoire let out a sigh, "Only if you're Austin or Lucy."
"I don't know," Ally replied with a slight smirk, "Lucy might have pretended to be angry, but I think she was a little relieved that he went silent even for a few minutes."
Oddly enough, her words perked Victoire up and she uncrossed her arms and reached for Ally to pull her into a hug.
"Congratulations on the engagement again, I'm so happy for you." Victoire knew that she didn't need to ask Ally if this was what she wanted, and she knew that she definitely didn't need to track Xavier down and ask him the same question.
"Thanks," Ally replied quietly before slipping into silence. There was a comfortable and quiet pause between the two for a moment before Ally began, "So . . . are you sure that you're okay with Xavier and me maybe getting married around the same time as you and Teddy?"
Victoire leaned her head on Ally's shoulder, "You mean am I okay with sharing all of that scrutinizing bridal attention with someone else?"
"Stupid question, I know," Ally replied with a roll of her eyes. She should have known that Victoire would gladly share the attention with someone else.
"I just don't want you to be worried that people will be comparing our weddings," Ally explained.
Victoire smiled, "I won't be. We'll just make sure that we don't invite the same people to our weddings then."
Ally chuckled, "Alright then, we'll make a list of family members and split it down the middle."
"I'll give you James right now, he and Freddie do everything together, and you have Freddie because he's your brother, so you can have James as well," Victoire told her bubbly.
Ally gasped in faux shock, "And deprive you of your favourite cousin on your wedding day? I would never."
"I think I'll be fine. You can have Dom as well if you'd like. And Great-great Auntie Muriel. And my mom," Victoire listed the names off on her fingers.
Ally narrowed her eyes at her blonde cousin seriously, "Are you sure that you don't want to elope?"
"I'm sure. I want to get married in front of all of our family and friends. In my bitchier moments I even contemplate sending Tasha Bennet an invitation."
Ally shrugged at hearing this, "Well you are a Slytherin after all . . ."
Victoire frowned and lightly hip-checked her cousin, "I am not a Slytherin."
"I know you're not," Ally allowed pulling Victoire into another hug, "But I'd still love you even if you were."
Victoire kissed her cousin's cheek, "I know."
They drifted away from each other slightly, "So, why were you so weird when you were talking about the kids at Hogwarts earlier?"
"Ugh," Victoire moaned, moving her hand up to pinch the bridge of her nose, "I want to tell you so badly. But I promised not to."
Ally pursed her lips, "Why would you need to promise Rose that?"
Victoire tapped her nose –telling Ally that she had guessed at the right cousin– and said, "I can't tell you something that Rose hasn't told you about yet."
Ally took that as a hint that she would need to get the info out of Rose first, and nodded her head understandingly.
"Just one more question, does it have to do with a boy?"
Victoire put her hands on her hips but slowly began nodding her head. Her actions not meeting her words, "What would make you think that Rose, our very private sixteen-year-old cousin, would have a secret to do with a boy that she wouldn't want the rest of our nosy family to know about?"
"You're awful at keeping secrets," Ally replied with a roll of her eyes but also a smile, "It makes me wonder if I should tell you my secret."
Her blonde cousin's eyes immediately lit up, "You have a secret? Please, please, please, please, please!"
Ally laughed and answered, "Alright, I'll tell you, but you have to promise that you won't tell Malcolm or Clark and Mark."
"Oh, just from that I know that this is going to be good."
"You have no idea," Ally replied with a smile.
A/N: OH MY GODRIC ALLY AND XAVIER ARE ENGAGED! So, I felt bad for Xavier since he always seemed to be the person putting himself out there in his relationship with Ally, so I had her propose. I know that a lot of you probably wanted a really romantic proposal with an incredibly sweet by awkward Xavier in charge, but this idea popped into my head and it just seemed perfect. I think it just really fits them and where they are right now.
So, since I've given you a lovely little engagement here, I would love a review in return all about how much you LOVE that Ally and Xavier ar enow engaged.
Next Update: I am so sorry guys, but this is the last chapter that I have written. I'm expecting January to be very stressful and busy for me, so I honestly don't think I'll be able to write let alone update, this situation might even bleed into February, but we'll just have to wait and see what happens.
Thanks again to everyone who has followed, favourited, read and especially those who reviewed last week to help me get passed my goal of 700, so thank you so much everyone!
Especially big thank-yous to:
blah345, rosesnlilies, AmberAshflower, Guest (1), carbo21, cjaben1, TeeChamblissful, a243, no cure for crazy, Guest (2), mazzmataz, Paddfoot12, Guest (3), Padfoot9901, Venz, Guest (4), zvc56, xDx, kawaiiotaku0405, Unicorn, Jennifer Jules, NicoleTheSmith, frozen-in-change, Guest (5), AngelTwins527, CharmingsDaughtr, and silverlover02.
rosesnlilies: I actually haven't read Cursed Child yet. Usually I'd be all over it, but because it's 'the future' and it's now officially cannon I kinda don't want to read it and have it change stuff that I've already written, if that makes sense.
AmberAshflower: Wow, thank you :)
carbo21: James is allowed to have other friends, and I think he'd get along well with female friends because he has so many female cousins ;)
cjaben1: It was Victoire that came across James, Selene, and Freddie, but I purposely left it where I did because I wanted it to be a surprise for her to interrupt Rose and Scorpius. Vic didn't say much to James & co, just explained why she was there and then went to find some books (and accidentally stumbled across Rose). I left the Rose and Scorpius part at the end purposely ambiguous. We will come back to what's going on between them at some point in the story, but it won't be until the next time we go back to Hogwarts. As for what Selene Spiros looks like, her family is originally Greek so I would imagine she has dark hair and more of an olive complexion.
TeeChamblissful: I wish you the best in the new year as well.
a243: Glad to see that you're back, even if it is under a new pseudonym :)
no cure for crazy: You're right, James is definitely maturing while Freddie still has a while to go. As for Al, well he can be a sneaky one, so his intentions are hard to discern.
Paddfoot12: I actually haven't read the Cursed Child yet because I don't want it to influence how I write this story, so Al's intentions are all his own. As for contacting me you can always send me a PM (personal message), it would be easiest, if there are parts about the story that you would like to write longer comments about. One of the reasons I love people's reviews and when they PM me is because I love to hear everyone's thoughts on what I've written, and where they think the story is going. I'm always open to discussion about it, good or bad, because if there's something that seems like it needs to be fixed or built on, then the person who is mentioning it to me is probably not the only one thinking it. So yeah, if there's anything you want to discuss or give me an opinion on (longer than a normal review) feel free to PM me.
Padfoot9901: I don't see why your version of Teddy and Vic's child can't be kind and naive. In fact, if your Ted and Vic are anything like my Ted and Vic, they'd probably be rather over-protective of their child, so it is very likely that she could be a little nave if they try to keep everything bad away from her. If you have any other questions about writing your story or if you'd like any advice about writing, plot, etc., feel free to send me a PM.
Venz: Wow, thanks for recommending me to people, that's awesome :) I like that everyone seems to be noticing that there's something up with Al.
zvc56: Gosh, I assume most of the books from the restricted section include things with Dark Magic, or at least that's what Vic's interested in, for research purposes of course.
Jennifer Jules: Did this Weasley family dinner meet your expectations?
NicoleTheSmith: I definitely reached my target, so thank you for helping. :)
frozen-in-change: Well thank you very much! I'm glad that you like the wider world that encompasses my story. I work hard to try to weave bits of it in to make it canon, but to grow it as well, so I appreciate the kind words.
CharmingsDaughtr: For Try and Tri Again I created the cover. I had photoshop on my laptop at that time and I found some pictures online and merged them into what I wanted. For Life After Hogwarts a fantastic reader created the cover for me, and she used a similar theme to what I used for Try and Tri Again.
silverlover02: Thank you for reviewing both chapter :)
So I hope everyone enjoyed the chapter, especially the engagement,
Please leave me a review about how you liked it,
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns you can mention them in a review or a PM,
I hope everyone had a great holiday, and I wish every the best in this new year,
Until next time, DFTBA!