When Victoire finds herself with something of a problem in the bedroom, she takes matters into her own hands… Or rather, puts them in Teddy's.
Something fluffy and fun to get me back into the writing swing. Currently rated T but may become M for later chapters. I envisage this being a short 3 or 4 part story of which most is already written.
Note: this is slightly non-epilogue compliant in that I am ignoring the fact that Vic and Teddy are clearly already a couple in the DH epilogue. Enjoy!
It was almost half past five when she finally spotted him, pushing his way through the crowds that jostled outside the little coffee shop on the corner of a side-street off Diagon Alley. Setting down her copy of that morning's Quibbler, she grinned as he stumbled over the threshold, shaking the wet and unruly turquoise hair from his eyes and heading straight over to their usual table, eyes lighting up as his gaze settled on her.
"Fancy meeting you here, Weasley," came the familiar opening line and she rolled her eyes, nursing her own coffee with one hand as she slid his now cold americano across the table. He flopped into a seat and gave her outstretched hand a squeeze. "Good day?"
Victoire shrugged and flashed him a wide smile, "Better now that you're here," before leaning over and lowering her voice to a conspiratorial whisper. "I don't know how to tell you this, Lupin, but I think you might have been followed."
Teddy grinned, glancing over his shoulder to where the gaggle of witches were jostling to peer through the grimy glass windows, each trying to squint towards the shadowy booth the two were currently occupying.
"Curse of the job, I'm afraid. Although I guess that means they're on to us, might be time to find a new favourite spot."
She gasped in mock offence, "How can you say that? This is our tradition, Friday afternoons at Bathilda's Bakery! I'm not giving this up for a handful of besotted teenagers!"
"Oh I don't know," Teddy scanned the group thoughtfully, "that one with the scarf's got to be almost twenty."
"And still too young for you," Victoire swatted at him with her newspaper. "Speaking of which..." she tossed the crumpled pages down in front of him. "You even made the Quibbler this time."
"Really?" He frowned, snatching the paper up and scanning the headlines. "They don't usually print the gossipy stuff."
Victoire chuckled, sipping at her frothy coffee and tucking a strand of long blonde hair behind her ear. "No, well, the article actually discusses whether or not your, er...sudden success with women, has anything to do with the recent sighting of the African Jarvey."
"An African-, what in Merlin's name is a Jarvey?"
Victoire shook her head, an amused grin creeping around the corners of her mouth "No idea. Although apparently if it bites you, you get some sort of super charged pheromones," she quirked one elegant eyebrow. "Hence the connection."
Teddy snorted his disapproval, "They just can't give a man credit where credit's due, can they? It couldn't possibly be my devilish good looks or charming manner-,"
"Or infallible sense of modesty,"
"-that scores me a night of rampant sex," he ignored her, "No, there's got to be a bloody Amazonian Jarvey on the loose, or some other such gobshite."
"African," Victoire corrected, taking another sip. "And I don't suppose it hurts being the newly signed Beater for the Tutshill Tornados either. Not that I doubt your woo-ing prowess in the slightest," she added quickly at Teddy' glower.
"Yes, well, I suppose being an internationally recognised Quidditch star doesn't hinder my chances," he conceded, reluctantly. "Anyway, how was the big romantic weekend away? Finnigan took you right into the Leprechaun's den, did he?"
"How did you hear about that?" Victoire scowled suddenly, her cheeks colouring just enough for Teddy to make out the faint line of freckles across her nose.
Teddy laughed then, his loud and warm trademark chuckle that usually made Victoire smile without meaning to. "Vic, you've got two siblings and nine cousins and not a single one of them knows how to keep their mouth shut. How do you think I heard?"
She let out something of a 'hrmph' and wrinkled her nose in annoyance. "Honestly, being a part of this family is like being under twenty-four-hour Auror protection. No one ever manages to go anywhere or do anything without at least seventeen other people knowing all about it."
Teddy smiled, softly. He was no stranger to Victoire's gripes about her rather extended family. "Was it meant to be a secret? Besides, I think they were just excited for you, Vic. Finally meeting Patrick's family and all, it's a big deal," his smile involuntarily waivered for the briefest of seconds before he forced out a laugh. "'Course now Lily's convinced you'll be married this time next year."
Victoire, still scowling into the dregs of her coffee, rolled her eyes at the prospect. "Excellent, now I've got the romantic predictions of a fifteen-year-old girl to contend with."
"Oh, come on," he gave her knee a soft bump under the table. "It can't have been that bad can it? A whole weekend away with your very own dashing Irishman? Not to mention that you two have been on and then off again more times than your Gran's wireless. Surely this is a good sign, surely this is…," he grappled for the right word, "progress?"
He watched across the booth as Vic, her blush starting to creep down her neck, glanced away across the crowded café. He recognised that look – it was the same one she'd had as a tiny first-year when she'd admitted to him that she was embarrassed to be the first ever Weasley not sorted into Gryffindor. The same look he'd seen when she'd told him about her rejection letter from the St Mungo's Healer programme.
And even though he'd known that she was destined to be a textbook devouring, logic hungry Ravenclaw since she was six years old, not to mention the fact that she turned green at the sight of a bleeding papercut - he still hated that look. It made his chest hurt and his hair turn blue.
"Is this what you needed to talk to me about?" He asked carefully. Victoire had suddenly become very interested in a chip in the rim of their sugar bowl. "Come on, Vic. I may have taken a few bludgers to the head in my time but I'm not totally dense, yet. You must have left a dozen Floo messages at my flat reminding me what time to be here."
"And yet you still managed to be almost an hour late," she muttered, still not quite managing to meet his eye.
He chuckled. "We've met here at four o'clock every Friday since you left Hogwarts. And I'm always late. Why the big fuss all of a sudden?"
Victoire could feel herself squirming under her best friend's unwavering stare. It was true, this was their historic, weekly tradition and neither of them had ever missed a date. And it was true that she needed to talk to him, badly. It was just that after working herself up over the last five days to have this very conversation, she now didn't think she had the courage to go through with it. The whole sodding thing was just too mortifying to put into words.
"The thing is," she started, tentatively. "The weekend was, er- well," she cringed both out and inwardly. "The weekend was a total disaster."
"Oh?" Teddy couldn't keep the surprise out of his voice. When he'd heard (from Roxanne, incidentally) where Vic had gone last weekend, he'd figured things were finally on track for the pair of indecisive lovebirds. Truth be told, he'd never been Patrick Finnigan's biggest supporter. Despite being one of Teddy's old school friends, not to mention teammate at the Tornadossince the start of the new season, the notion of Victoire and Patrick being together had never quite sit right with Teddy. The man was all cheekbones and no substance, in his not-so-humble opinion, and certainly not good enough for Victoire. Then again, he supposed it was unlikely that anyone would ever be good enough for her in his estimation. But that was something he very rarely allowed himself to think about – dangerous territory and all that.
Victoire cleared her throat and Teddy re-focused sharply. She was still having difficulty looking him in the eye and was pulling nervously at a corner of the already dog-eared menu. He reached out and enveloped her small hand in his calloused one.
"Vic, whatever it is, whatever he did to ruin it again you can tell me. I promise not to spike his Firewhiskey with itching powder like last time," he smiled warmly – and was instantly surprised to find he had just managed to make the situation somehow even worse.
"That's just it!" she snapped, pulling her long, elegant fingers free of his and folding her arms crossly. "He didn't do anything. He was perfectly lovely, his family were lovely, Ireland was perfectly bloody lovely!"
Teddy blinked. "Right. Er-, right, that's good." He scratched his head. "So…what-?"
"It was me!" her face crumpled into a sad frown. More of a pout really, but Teddy valued his life too much to address the fact that she still pouted like a five-year-old whenever she was annoyed. "I ruined it. Everything was going really well, we'd decided to try and make a proper go of it this time, be a proper couple and then… then I just couldn't."
She was suddenly staring at him, hotly – eyes wide and cheeks blazing. Teddy, for his part, was rather lost.
"Couldn't. Couldn't, what?"
He blinked, dumbly. "I really don't think I do."
"Oh, for goodness sake, Teddy! If anyone should understand what I'm talking about it's you! At least according to the stupid Quibbler, that is."
Now Teddy was really lost. The Quibbler? What in the name of Merlin's left bollock was she talking about? He glanced at the crumpled pages of her copy lying on the table between them – caught site of his own picture (taken at the latest Tutshill Tornado's press conference from the looks of it), and watched as it morphed into an artist's rendering of him being bitten by what looked like a large black and red striped cat.
The African Jarvey, as he had just learnt.
And then it hit him.
"Oh!" he almost coughed in her face. "You, you er- couldn't." He looked suddenly puzzled. "But, I mean, surely you two have – you know – before?"
Victoire offered him an almost imperceptible shake of her head.
"But you've been dating for almost two years, I just assumed…,"
Victoire, the poor girl, felt even the tips of her ears glowing red as Teddy grimaced awkwardly in front of her. This was absolutely not how the conversation had gone when she'd rehearsed it alone, in front of the mirror that morning. In that scenario she had been cool, composed and totally unashamed about her predicament.
It wasn't as if she'd been relishing the thought of sharing this news with Teddy, even if he was her best friend. In fact, this sort of stuff – boys, girls, relationships, sex – just wasn't the sort of stuff they talked about. Even as they got older, had both started dating, they just hadn't felt the need to discuss their respective love lives with each other. When you've known someone your entire life, it seemed, there was always plenty of other things to occupy the conversation.
But now, apparently, they were talking about it. And it was painful. But Teddy had been right earlier – Victoire had needed to talk to him about this and for a very particular reason. Judging by how well the conversation had gone so far she wasn't entirely sure how to breach it but – Gryffindor or not – she was a Weasley, and Weasley's were always fiercely determined in the face of danger. And right now, she knew she was entering treacherous waters.
"Patrick and I have never had sex," she stated factually, glancing furtively around the bustling tea shop to ensure there were no Quick-Quotes-Quills or eavesdropping cousins nearby. "Teddy- Ted, are you listening to me?"
"Hm?" clearing his throat, Teddy – who had been lost deep in his own concerning train of thought – ran a hand through his hair, leaving it veering oddly to the left. Victoire noticed it was currently a bright pink – just the shade to match her cheeks, in fact.
"Sorry," he mumbled, "I'm listening." Though he looked, to her, very much as though he would like nothing more than to cut both of his ears off.
She took a deep breath, only somewhat deterred. "Patrick and I have never had sex. In fact," she found herself biting the sides of her tongue in an apparently subconscious effort to stop herself talking. "In fact, I have never had sex. With anyone. Ever."
Victoire sat back against her chair and gave this news a moment to sink in. Teddy, who had been awkwardly avoiding eye-contact with her up until now, was staring at her intently, mouth slightly ajar. His sheer look of surprise somehow spurred her self-confidence.
"There's nothing wrong with that, you know, Ted Lupin," she muttered, crossly. "Just because I haven't done it yet, doesn't make me… defective or anything."
"I may be twenty-three but that's hardly past it. Plus it's not like I haven't had opportunity, if I'd wanted to-,"
Victoire stalled, narrowing her eyes at the now flame-red-haired man sat across from her. It clashed awfully with his purple and orange Weasley's Wizard Wheezes t-shirt. "And what's that supposed to mean? 'Exactly'?"
"I- I just mean," Teddy was opening and closing his mouth like a fish out of water, "I'm only surprised that you haven't because I know about a hundred people who you could have done it with, you know, if you'd have wanted to."
He grimaced, that definitely didn't come out right. Although it was true – ever since Victoire's fifth year at Hogwarts, Teddy had been painfully aware of just how many potential suitors had hovered, hopefully, at her periphery. For her part, Victoire had seemed mostly oblivious to all of them. A fact that Teddy had always found surprising and oddly pleasing.
Victoire frowned. "Thanks, I think."
"You're welcome," he mumbled. Merlin, it wasn't usually this warm in this blasted café was it? "Look, Vic," he cleared his throat, "it's really none of my business who you have or haven't slept with. And if you didn't want to sleep with Finnegan then that's completely fine, you don't owe him anything. And you certainly don't need to explain yourself to me-,"
"I know that!" she hissed. "I'm not torturing both of us right now with this conversation just to give you the heads up that I haven't shagged your mate, yet."
Someone in the next booth along dropped a teaspoon, loudly, and they both flinched away to look at different spots on the wall.
Teddy was the one to recover his composure – or what was left of it – first. "Then why, in the name of Helga's saggy tits," he muttered through gritted teeth, "are we even having this conversation in the first place?"
He couldn't think of a single logical reason that the last five minutes of his life had also needed to become the most uncomfortable five minutes of his life thus far. He'd always liked to think that he and Vic could talk about anything, share anything between them but he was quickly realising this was absolutely not the case. This stuff – the sex stuff – was clearly off-limits for a reason. And, though he was genuinely ashamed to admit it, even this hideously awkward discussion was beginning to send dangerous signals to the inside of his jeans. After all, they were talking about Victoire having (or rather not having) sex, and that was a dangerously taboo topic in the mind of Teddy Lupin.
Victoire let a long, slow breath out through her nose in an effort to compose herself and tucked her straight blonde hair back behind her ears, in the way she always did when steeling herself to tackle an insurmountable problem.
"We are having this conversation, Ted Lupin, because I am about to ask for your help," she spoke slowly. Teddy wasn't sure if that was for his benefit or her own. "And I need you to understand why I am asking for your help so that maybe you won't act incredibly weird about it when I do."
Teddy blinked. She was using the same tone with him that she frequently employed on her younger cousins Fred and James, when trying to help them grasp the stupidity of their latest cunning plot to flood the girls' toilets or – since they'd graduated – flirt with the barmaid at the Three Broomsticks who was clearly out of both of their leagues. He felt mildly affronted by it, actually.
"Fine," he crossed his arms, sullenly. "Go on, then."
She took in another deep breath. "I have yet to… do the deed," Teddy was pleased to see the instant flush of her cheeks, at least she was still finding this as uncomfortable as he was. "And I think that's because I've built it up too much in my head. It seemed stupid to do it when I was teenager, with Damian, because it was bound to be terrible and high-school relationships never last. My relatives being the exception that proves the rule, of course."
Teddy felt his lip curl involuntarily at the mention of Victoire's first Hogwarts boyfriend – when she'd been a sixth year and he in his seventh, alongside Damian Zabini. The smarmy Slytherin had seemed a little too pleased with himself since he'd started dating Vic – as if he'd somehow got one up over Teddy, who honestly couldn't have cared in the slightest who she was dating.
"And then I got a bit older, met new people, had new relationships, but it never seemed right. I'd waited that long for it to be perfect, why not just wait a little longer?" she shrugged. "Some of them understood and others-, well, I suppose they got fed up of waiting."
The sad little pout was threatening to reappear. Teddy instantly wanted to apparate home, make a list of all of Victoire's past boyfriends and surprise each one on their doorstep with his well-practiced Bat Bogey-Hex.
"But I just kept telling myself that was fine, because it wasn't the right time. I could find a flaw with each of them that meant they weren't the right ones. And then, there was last weekend with Patrick -,"
Teddy shifted uncomfortably in his seat. Victoire was too intent on finishing her explanation to notice.
"- where everything was perfect. He took me across the Irish Sea to meet his entire family, for Merlin's sake! And I thought it must be the right time, I felt ready. And so there we were, about to – you know," Teddy made an odd sort of sound from somewhere high in his throat which Victoire chose to ignore. "And I just couldn't. Something was still telling me that it wasn't the right time. Which is ridiculous, because I'm sure it absolutely was!"
Victoire finally looked across at Teddy, who was looking back at her with such a pained expression that she would have laughed in his face if she wasn't one hundred percent sure she was offering him a very similar one in return.
"Vic," he started, weakly. "If you want me to talk to Finnegan -,"
"No!" she stopped him in his tracks by reaching across the table and grasping his hand in hers. He hoped she wouldn't notice how sweaty his palm had become. "Patrick and I are finished, for good this time, I think. That's not why I need your help."
"But I don't see-,"
Victoire let go of his hand and sat back in her seat, pulling herself up to her full height and tried to act as if what she were about to say – what she was about to ask of her lifelong best friend – was entirely normal.
"I realised last weekend that it's not about waiting for the right time or the right person. Surely, if it was – that would have been it! I've been telling myself all this romantic nonsense for years, when really, what on Earth am I waiting for? I just need to get it done, get it out of my system and then I can actually start to have proper adult relationships."
Teddy swallowed, thickly. "Right, okay then. Go for it… I guess."
Victoire rolled her eyes. "Well, that's just it. I can't just go for it with any random bloke, can I? It needs to be someone I can trust, someone who understands what this is all about. And ideally," she added, carefully, "someone who has a good deal of experience in the area, to make it actually enjoyable." She paused what for seemed an insanely long moment. "Someone, for example, who may have recently even made the headlines for his sexual exploits."
Her gaze dropped, not-so-subtly, to the frayed copy of The Quibbler, still lying incriminatingly on the table-top between them. Teddy stared down at it in horror – at his own face grinning and – oh, Godric help him – was he winking in that photo? Why was he always such a prat in front of the cameras.
"Vic," he said, voice suddenly and unnaturally gruff, "I think you should stop talking. Now."
But she didn't miss a beat. "Teddy Lupin, I need you to have sex with me," she practically spat the words out at him, quickly adding, "As friends, obviously. And at your earliest convenience."
Teddy stared at her, slack-jawed. His pulse had started thundering in his ears and his tongue felt twice the size it normally was and seemed stuck to the roof his mouth. For her part, Vic appeared to have the audacity to be watching his reaction as if she had just made the most innocent request in the world – the fiery blush that had crept beneath the neckline of her blouse and the fact that she was blinking rather too often were the only signs that she even knew what she had just said.
"Vic, you can't be serious-," he began to splutter.
"You don't have to answer straight away!" she held up a visibly trembling hand. "Take your time, mull it over. Just think of it as a favour to a friend, that's all."
"Vic! You've honestly lost your gobstones," Teddy's vision was swimming with all the wrong sorts of images.
That seemed to flick some sort of switch in Victoire, who – with the last of her resolve waning and her cheeks threatening to self-combust – began snatching up her coat and bag (almost forgetting the sparkly blue mittens from Grandma Molly) and rose quickly from her seat.
"Like I said," her voice only a few octaves higher than usual, she imagined, "give it some thought. You know where to find me when you decide." Before turning on her heel to flee the scene.
Teddy jumped from his seat only a split second behind her, dashing back to chuck a handful of change into one of the coffee-stained saucers and almost colliding with a waitress and a trayful of hot chocolates on his way to catch up to her.
"Vic, stop! You can't just ask-, proposition even-,"
Teddy darted between the tables and reached out to grab her elbow just as she stepped out onto the blustery street, blonde hair whipped up around hot cheeks. But as soon as he followed her out of the safe confines of Bathilda's Bakery, the small crowd of excitable Quidditch fans and beguiled witches that he'd long since forgotten about were around him in a second, swallowing him up in a sea of autograph books and handmade scarves. It was all he could do to shout after her, trying to keep his eyes on the back of her head in the crowd, until a camera flashed too close to his face and she was lost into the Friday afternoon throng of Diagon Alley shoppers.
Sweet Merlin, he cursed internally, raking a hand through his now alarmingly bright orange hair. He, Ted Lupin, was in an absolute world of trouble.