By Siriusly Amused
Wind you up and make you crawl to me
'Finding Out True Love is Blind' by Louis XIV
Her candle went out, leaving her in the dark kitchen, her eyes blinking blindly as the hairs on the back of her neck rose in alarm. Victoire had never felt completely safe at Uncle Harry's and Aunt Ginny's place. Yes, she loved and trusted them, but she was also painfully aware that Uncle Harry had been at the center of the war and that if any evil decided to resurface, he would be first on the death list.
Several long, heart-pounding moments passed, yet, despite her eyes adjusting to the darkness, she could not see anything; the blackness encompassed her like a blanket.
'Okay,' she thought to herself, taking deep, calming breaths as she did so, 'I'm a big girl; I can find my way through the darkness.'
She slowly rose from the table. To her right, she heard the kitchen clock ticking off the seconds, and she knew that the stairs that led to the bedrooms was right beside that clock. All she had to do was follow the sound of the ticking, and she would be alright.
Keeping one hand on the table, Victoire took a step towards the ticking clock, only to pause rather suddenly as she felt something warm brush against her side.
"Who's there?" she asked quickly, wincing when she heard the fear in her voice. 'Stay calm, Victoire.'
No one answered her. She swallowed hard and continued on her way, her left hand on the table to steady her. She was almost there when she felt a poke on her left side, causing her to shoot away from the table in her fear. She backed up blindly into the sick, her hands grasping its side to steady her as her heart beat fiercely in her chest. She felt another poke to the side, accompanied by a gust of air, as if someone had moved by her quickly.
She gasped and shot away from the sink, crashing into a warm, sturdy body.
There was a soft chuckle and a whispered 'Lumos' before the kitchen filled with a soft, golden glow, illuminating the smirking face of Teddy Lupin.
"Hullo, Victoire," he said, wrapping his free hand around her waist.
Victoire scowled at him. 'Damn him and his stupid night vision!'
"Teddy!" she exclaimed, wishing her beating heart would slow down; she was certain he could feel it pounding through her chest, which was currently pressed pretty cozily against his. "You scared me, you git!" She punched his chest admonishingly, but Teddy merely continued to grin down at her.
"Sorry," he apologized, although he didn't look sorry in the least. They stood in silence for a few moments, his arm around her and her hands resting upon his chest, until they both realized their close proximity and broke apart rather abruptly, as if they had burned one another.
Victoire blushed and stared down at her feet, cursing her feelings.
Teddy was family. Teddy wasn't related to her by blood. They were raised as cousins. They weren't really cousins. They were friends. They spent their summer holidays visiting the same relatives. They were complicated.
"You're pretty when you're frustrated," Teddy admitted softly, and Victoire raised her eyes to look at him.
At eighteen years of age, Teddy Lupin was beginning to look more like a grown man instead of an adolescent child. He was (normally) tall and lean, with a (normally) thin face, straight nose, sly smirk, golden brown eyes, and messy, bright blue hair. He also carried himself in a way that suggested he was very self assured, but there were times, such as now, that Victoire saw a (normally) hidden vulnerability.
He was leaning against the table with his hands as if he needed support to keep his knees from buckling. His face was flushed with splotches of pink blush, and his eyes were looking at her under the veil of his long lashes. No longer smirking, his mouth meekly pulled to the side in a shy smile.
"Are you sure you should be talking to me like that?" she asked, flashing a shy smile of her own.
"Why shouldn't I?" he retorted, his brow knitting in confusion.
Victoire blushed and glanced down at her feet again.
"It's just that we're…"
"Yes?" he asked, drawing the word out. She was vaguely aware that he had taken a few steps forward and now stood very close to her. He dipped his head, trying to force eye contact with her. "We're what, Victoire?"
"We're…" she looked up at him, feeling dumb, "…not really related."
His smirk was back. "Yeah…we're not."
"But…I mean…it's just that…"
But Teddy had leaned in, cutting off her protests. Victoire's body went rigid, her eyes blinking rapidly as he kissed her. The clock on the wall ticked away the seconds.
And then Victoire gave up, melting into his embrace and kissing him back. They were complicated non-relatives. They were Teddy and Victoire. Always.