Disclaimer: If you recognize someone, they belong to JKR. The others are all creations of mine to fill the gaps. :) Plus, any similarities are accidental and completely unintentional.
Summary: Teddy/Victoire. Victoire's sixth year at Hogwarts is full of ups and downs. Fights with mean girls and a boy that's more trouble than he's worth, she's in for quite a few surprises. Including the realization that she might be falling for the last person she ever expects.
A/N: Part 2 of 4. If you're here before checking out part 1: "The Start" do not pass go! This series reads best in order. See my profile for more info.
It was getting later—later and later in the course of a day that Victoire Weasley wished could somehow grow longer. She stared out of the window of her second story bedroom—the bedroom she had just begun to re-assimilate herself to after a year away at school. Why was this day going by so quickly?
She had been home for only two days, but the much needed break from school was already being felt. At sixteen, she had just completed her fifth and most difficult year yet at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It wasn't only the most difficult in an academic sense, but in a social sense as well. Most importantly, her O.W.L.s were over. The exams that she had been stressing herself over since her third year were finished and off being marked somewhere where she could no longer control them. In a sense, that was a very freeing feeling, although, at the same time, it was terrifying.
Academic success was Victoire's first concern as well as her parents'. They had both been exceptional students in their day. Her father, Bill, had been a Head Boy and her mother, Fleur, had been a Triwizard Champion. Needless to say, they valued good marks above all else, and this was something they felt the need to constantly remind their children of. For Victoire, achieving good marks meant more freedom and free time; whereas bad marks meant that she got to spend her holidays confined to the house helping her mother and father with mundane chores. This wasn't something she was particularly interested in given her increased popularity and her desire to spend her time with her friends.
Luckily for her, getting good marks had not ever been a problem. Throughout the course of her life, she'd been constantly told that she had inherited her father's knack for critically analyzing things, as well as her mother's ability to execute said things in a quick and efficient manner. Her mother's quick thinking wasn't the only thing she was constantly reminded of that she had inherited from her. She cast a quick glance to the full length mirror that hung on the wall next to her closet.
She was slender with strawberry blonde hair that fell just past her shoulders. She had her mother's bone structure, eyes and nose, but she swore she had her father's smile. She smiled instinctively into the mirror and stared at herself for several moments. Even she couldn't deny that she was a pretty convincing clone of her mother, but she was happy because if she could have inherited anything from her father, it would have been his smile.
Ever since she was a little girl, she had always thought her father had the friendliest smile she had ever seen. On many occasions, her mother had told her that it was her father's smile that had made her fall in love with him. It had been the thing that had convinced her that he was the most handsome man alive. It was a story that Victoire had always loved hearing as a girl, and it made her dream of one day having a relationship similar to that of her parents. Through war and disfigurement, they were still as in love with each other now as they had been since on the day they had met.
"Victoire!" called her mother's voice. "You 'ave a visitor!"
"I do?" she said to no one in particular as she snapped out of her daze and glanced at the door to her bedroom. She hadn't been expecting anyone because she was soon leaving to go out, and her family didn't exactly live nearby anyone for neighbors to simply drop in. She made her way downstairs where she could suddenly smell her mother's cooking wafting out of the kitchen as dinner was being prepared. Her mother, however, was still standing at the door chatting happily with someone out of sight.
"Oh, 'ere she iz!" her mother said, as Victoire stepped into the threshold, where she spotted a tall girl with curly blonde hair and pretty features standing there smiling back at her.
"Penelope," she said with a tone of surprise as she forced a small smile and stepped out onto the front porch. "What are you doing here?"
Fleur smiled at the pair of them before excusing herself and shutting the door behind her, leaving the two of them alone.
"If I said I was in the neighborhood, you probably wouldn't believe me," Penelope said as she tossed her hair over her shoulder and smiled. It was the kind of smile that was never quite sincere, even if it was meant to be. Then again, Penelope prided herself on being exclusive and standoffish.
Penelope Shears was a year older than Victoire, yet they had both been sorted into Gryffindor, and they shared a common, mutual group of friends. In polite conversation, they both referred to the other as a friend, but Victoire had never much felt like she could trust her. Their friendship was surface level than anything more.
Victoire glanced out at the sea on which her house sat upon before quickly turning back towards Penelope. "Not really, no."
Penelope smiled again. "I didn't think so."
"So, then why are you here?"
"I've got some news for you. News that I think you'll find quite interesting."
"Okay…" said Victoire as her annoyance started to show. She had grown tired of playing these games over the last few months. "And what's that?"
"Colleen would absolutely kill me if she knew I'd come here to tell you this."
Victoire stared at her. The biggest dissention between Penelope and she was Penelope's best friend, a girl by the name of Colleen Lynch. She was in the same year as Penelope, a Gryffindor, extremely attractive, and manipulative to boot. She could have any boy she chose and most girls in the school would have jumped through hoops if that's what it took to be associated with her. By default, being friends with Colleen Lynch meant instant popularity. It was something Colleen wouldn't have had any other way.
If Penelope and Victoire were considered surface level friends, then Colleen and Victoire were below the surface level friends. The two both had such strong personalities that they constantly clashed and butted heads over various issues and instances. The fact that many considered the two of them to be the best looking girls in school didn't help their situation either, since it was obvious to anyone who knew them that Colleen didn't appreciate the competition. On the flipside, Victoire didn't appreciate the unnecessary drama that seemed to follow her around as a result of Colleen.
It seemed that Penelope had news that would upset Colleen if she knew Victoire were to discover. She was intrigued, but unconvinced. For all she knew, this was one of Colleen's little games to see whether or not she would come to her after hearing exclusive information or keep it for herself. She wouldn't put it past Colleen.
"Then perhaps you should save your neck and not tell me," Victoire said.
Penelope's smiled faltered. She looked slightly disappointed that Victoire wasn't getting as excited as she'd hoped for. "It's about Stuart Reynolds," she continued as she watched Victoire's face for a reaction.
"What's about him?"
"He and Elizabeth Cole have split up."
Her eyes grew wide almost involuntarily. "Really?"
She nodded her head. "Her older sister is a friend of my older sister and she's just told me. Apparently they had a huge row about staying together now that she's graduated and he still has another year. They decided to call it off."
Victoire smiled as she stared off towards the sea again. Stuart Reynolds was a soon-to-be seventh-year Ravenclaw, and he also happened to be Captain of their Quidditch team. He was unbelievably handsome, not to mention charming, and she had been particularly partial to him for years now. He, however, had been faithfully dating Elizabeth Cole for who-knows-how-long. Well, until now it seemed.
"I just thought you ought to know," said Penelope as Victoire turned back towards her. "In case you were interested."
"You know I'm interested," she said as she crossed her arms in front of her chest. "But why are you telling me? Colleen's had her eye on him for years now and I would think you'd save this information for just her."
Penelope bit her bottom lip. "I did tell her. It's just…" She trailed off momentarily as her icy demeanor showed signs of cracking. "I just don't think it's very fair for her to assume that because he's single, he is hers for the taking."
She watched as Penelope suddenly became agitated. "Did Colleen say that?" she asked. "That he's hers for the taking?"
"Not in so many words," she said with a wave of her hand. "But after I mentioned that I may have a go at him because, you know, I think he's quite attractive too—" She looked away. "Colleen had a real laugh about it and told me not to be silly. She said, 'Why would he go after me when there were girls like her available?'"
Victoire's jaw dropped. She wasn't surprised by the comment—seeing as that was very much part of Colleen's blunt nature—but rather the fact that Penelope actually seemed to be affected by something for once. She had heard some pretty harsh things thrown at Penelope by Colleen over the years, yet she usually took them in stride. It was as if Penelope felt it came with the territory of being her friend—a fact that Colleen constantly reminded them.
"Anyway," said Penelope, "she made me swear that I wouldn't even entertain the idea of going after him—"
"And you agreed!?" Victoire interrupted. "You know you don't have to do that, right?"
Her face grew cold again. "You're the one who seems to enjoy the fights and arguments. Not me. It's not my style."
"It's not exactly my style to sit back and let Colleen dictate my life," she said, as if trying to prove a point to Penelope. It seemed lost on her.
"You weren't always so rebellious. No offense, Vicki, but you certainly let Colleen walk all over you a time or two…or ten."
"And then I grew up," Victoire said as her annoyance started to grow again.
"Whatever," Penelope said in a bored tone as she turned and headed towards the front step. "I have to go. I just I'd let you know about Stuart."
Victoire watched her take a few steps as she started to ponder why Penelope would actually tell her about this. Colleen, for all her bitchiness, was still the person Penelope wanted to impress most.
"I still don't see why you'd want me know about all of this."
She turned and smiled her trademark icy smile. "Because you're the only one who can really challenge Colleen in getting him. That and she made a point saying how she hoped you wouldn't find out."
Victoire arched her eyebrow, but said nothing.
"I may not be as willing as you are to go at Colleen," she continued, "but I have my own ways of making things a little more difficult for her."
They both stared at each other for a long moment before the front door opened and a tall, thin, and attractive boy with reddish brown hair poked his head out. It was Victoire's fifteen-year-old brother, Louis.
"Hey, Vic," he said. "Mum says dinner's ready."
"Hi Louis," said Penelope brightly as she suddenly stood up straighter and smiled. Victoire couldn't help but roll her eyes at the display. Sure, she had become used to this being a common occurrence from her friends anytime a good looking boy came around, but the fact that they had all started taking an interest in Louis lately was something she couldn't get used to. This was her brother that Penelope was gawking at.
"Hey," he said with the smile that he had also inherited from their father.
"I'll be in in a second," Victoire said quickly. Louis seemed to take that as a hint and shut the door behind him.
"I know he's your brother," Penelope said in a tone far different than it had been earlier, "but he is so cute."
"So I'm told," she said as her annoyance hit its limit, "but as you see, I have to go. Thanks for the info."
"Are you going to do anything about it?"
"We'll see." She shrugged and turned back towards the house.
"Wait!" Penelope said just as Victoire put her hand on the doorknob. "One more thing. Please don't tell Colleen that it was me who told you about this."
"Fine," she said quickly as she entered her house and slammed the door shut behind her. She suddenly wondered just how many Galleons she'd have if she had one for every time she heard the phrase, "Don't tell Colleen." She'd surely be the richest girl in England.
"What the hell was she doing out here?" Louis asked as he walked past carrying a cauldron of stew.
"Apparently she's the bearer of good news," said Victoire as she followed her brother into the dining room where her father and mother were already sitting. As she took her seat, her fifteen-year-old sister and Louis's twin, Dominique, came casually strolling into the room.
Dominique was eleven minutes older than Louis and while the two of them had looked quite similar as children, the older they had gotten the less similar they seemed. In fact, Dominique was starting to look more and more like a blend of her mother and father, whereas Louis was starting to look more like their father everyday. Dominique had the blondest hair of the children, but she constantly wore in a funky and unkempt ponytail that looked as if she devoted maybe six seconds of her day to her appearance. Her face was shaped like their father and brother's, but her frame was smaller like her mother's. In fact, the only similarity all three Weasley children shared was that they all had blue eyes, just as both their parents did.
Dominique was also a tomboy who loved Quidditch and anything having to do with the outdoors. She was chaotic and unorganized, which was something that tended to grate on Victoire since she was naturally neat and orderly. The two sisters tended to butt heads more often than not due to their different personalities and stubborn natures. Dominique was never afraid to speak her mind, no matter the trouble it caused, and the sound of them arguing was definitely more common than not around the Weasley household.
Louis however had a very different relationship with both of his sisters. Where Dominique could be brash and opinionated, Louis preferred to be relaxed and carefree, making him easy to get along with. He was a charming kid who was everyone's friend and often found himself bridging the gap between Victoire and Dominique's differences. Victoire often thought that if it wasn't for her brother, she and Dominique would have probably disowned each other by now. Louis had a way of making them get along.
"Did Colleen Lynch's gigantic head finally explode?" Dominique asked as Louis laughed and almost dropped the cauldron onto the table. "Because that's really the only good news Penelope Shears could bring."
"Dominique," Fleur said as she cast a sharp look at her.
Victoire couldn't help but smile. "No. Not yet. Give it time though."
"So?" asked Dominique as she started ladling herself some stew. "What'd she want?"
"You really care?"
She grinned. "Humor me."
"Stuart Reynolds and Elizabeth Cole broke up," she said with a smile. Louis rolled his eyes.
"Poor guy," he said. "She was really gorgeous."
"I'm sure there will be other girls to help him get over her," Victoire said with a dreamy smile.
"I do wonder who you're talking about," he said sarcastically.
"Now I truly pity him," Dominique joked.
"Ha-ha," Victoire said as she started to stir her stew with her spoon. She couldn't help but find her mood elevated now upon hearing the news about Stuart. Her mind started to wander about just when she may be able to see him next.
"So you three are going out tonight," Bill said as they all tucked into dinner. "Over to Harry and Ginny's right?"
Victoire's mind stopped wandering as she suddenly remembered her plans for the evening. The plans she had been dreading all day.
"Yep," Dominique said. "Over to T.R's graduation party."
"Why do you call him that?" asked Victoire.
"Because that's his name."
"Well, his name's Ted," their father said in an equally obvious tone. "T.R is actually his initials."
"It's stupid," Victoire said as she blew on her stew to cool it. "Why he ever let that catch on is beyond me."
"He obviously likes it," Louis said. "And it's not like he cares if you call him Ted or Teddy or whatever. Most people just call him T.R."
She rolled her eyes.
"In fact, Vic," he added, "I think you may be one of the few people who still calls him Ted."
"I'll always call him Ted. That's his name."
"Different strokes," Dominique said as she bit off a piece of her dinner roll and started chewing it.
"It's 'ard to believe zat Teddy 'as graduated already," Fleur said. "It seems like only yesterday Remus was in zis very room telling us about zis birth."
"I remember that," Bill said fondly. "It had been storming terribly that night…"
"Here we go again," Dominique said with a glance at Victoire.
"And everyone was here," Victoire said as she smiled and mimicked her father. "Uncle Harry, Uncle Ron, Aunt Hermione were all in hiding here from the Death Eaters when Ted's dad—"
"Remus," Bill interrupted. "If you're going to make fun of my story telling, you better get the details straight."
"Right, sorry," she said with a small giggle as Dominique and Louis laughed too. "When Remus came through the door on that stormy night—"
"Windy and stormy," Bill said as though he was thoroughly enjoying this. "It was very windy."
"Windy and stormy night," she added. "And then he announced that he'd had a baby boy. They named him Ted after his grandfather and then everyone drank in celebration."
"The end," Louis said with a smirk.
"I think you've told zat story before," Fleur said, smiling at her husband.
"It seems so."
"I've heard it at least ten times," Dominique said.
"Twelve here," Victoire said.
"You know," Bill said, "one day when I'm not around, you're going to miss my stories."
"But we'll be able to recite them line for line," joked Louis as everyone at the table chuckled.
"It's nice for 'Arry and Ginny to throw 'im a party," Fleur said. "You all should 'ave fun."
"That's to be decided," Victoire mumbled.
"I thought you and Ted were friendly again," asked Bill. "I know you had that falling out, but didn't you two work that out?"
"You knew zey would, of course," Fleur said. "Zey both 'ave been friends since zey were both so small. It's silly to throw all of zat away over a stupid disagreement."
"Very true," said Bill as Victoire said nothing. She couldn't help but think how true that would be if it had been that simple.
"I'm going to go and change," Louis said as he inhaled the last of his food and stood up.
"How did you eat so quickly?" asked Fleur.
"I suppose I should get ready too," said Victoire.
"You haven't finished eating," Fleur said as she looked at Victoire's plate. "You should at least eat ze rest."
"I'm not really hungry, and there will probably be loads of food there," she said as she stood up. Neither Bill nor Fleur contradicted her as she marched up the stairs to her bedroom. Going straight to her closet, she began to flip through items of clothing; nixing each one as she passed it.
"What the hell do I wear to this?" she asked out loud without expecting an answer. However, one came from Louis who had just let himself into her room.
"Something that covers up as much as possible. I don't want to see you and I don't want to see people seeing you. Have you seen my brown shoes?"
"No. Sorry," she said as Louis turned to leave. Just then, Dominique had entered holding up two shirts.
"Blue or red?" she asked Louis as he walked around her into the hallway.
"I don't care. Red, I suppose. Whatever."
Dominique glanced at Victoire, almost hesitant to ask her for her opinion.
"They're both ugly," Victoire said as she continued searching through her closet. This was generally her response to most of the things her sister chose to wear since Dominique insisted on wearing clothes that could never be confused as anything but unisex. On top of that, she often wore them a size too big. "Why don't you borrow something of mine, Nicki? Something not so boring."
Dominique made a face as she glanced towards Victoire's open closet. "Everything is so…girly."
"Because I'm a girl and so are you in case you've forgotten. And look, this isn't very girly." She held up a green jumper and gestured to several more that were still hanging. "Perfectly neutral colors. No frills or anything like that, since I know you won't touch those."
Dominique stared at her before glancing back down at the shirts in her hand. "Blue or red?"
"Blue," she mumbled begrudgingly. "At least it's a little more form fitting that that potato sack thing you've got in your other hand."
"I like this one," she said as she held up the red shirt.
"It looks like something Louis would wear."
"I think it was once his." She shrugged before she turned and went straight back into her own room down the hall. Victoire quickly changed into her own outfit and started to brush her hair in front of the mirror when Dominique returned and plopped herself down on the nearby bed. She began putting on her shoes. "You're really not looking forward to this tonight, are you?"
"Not really," Victoire said.
"Why not? I mean this is T.R—"
Victoire shot her a look through the mirror.
"Sorry, Ted's," she corrected herself, "party."
"And I'm happy for him. It's just," she sighed, "the people that will most likely be there—"
"You mean his friends?" she asked as she leaned back against the wall that Victoire's bed was propped against and started playing with a rubber ball she had found on her desk. "Too good for them, are you?"
"Oh, shut up, Nicki," she said as she turned around to face her. "You know that's not it."
"Then what is it?"
"How about the fact that some of them don't seem to like me much."
"It seems like the feeling's mutual."
"Not because I want it to be," Victoire added. "I've never been mean to them, yet they're the ones who think that just because of who my friends are that I'm a stuck up bitch."
Dominique stared at her. "But your friends have been stuck up bitches to them."
"But I haven't."
"You're guilty by association then," she said. "I mean you do hang out with people like Colleen and Penelope and Aspeth, and they do enjoy making fun of everyone and anyone who they don't think is, by their definition, cool."
"But I don't!"
"No offense," she said with a laugh, "but as long as you hang out with those girls, people who don't know you are going to think you're like that. I mean, if it's any conciliation, most people think you're the least bitchy one of the group."
"My goal is to distance myself from them next year," Victoire said as she turned back around and looked in the mirror. "I'm tired of the drama."
"Glad to hear it," she said as she threw the ball up in the air and caught it.
"It still doesn't help me tonight."
"You know what?" asked Dominique. "The only people there who are going to give you a hard time are the people who haven't bothered to get to know you. I mean Simon will be there, and he's in love with you and has been forever."
Victoire smiled as she thought of Ted's friend Simon. A sweet and clumsy boy who always had good intentions, he never quite executed them properly. He had done countless things over the years to get her attention, including accidentally breaking her foot during her fourth year. The encounters we almost always followed by Ted feeling the need to apologize for his friend's behavior.
"And the rest of those guys think you're all right," Dominique continued. "I know they do. It's just some of the girls who get a little edgy."
"Some of the girls or the girl?"
"You mean Celia?"
"She clearly hates me," Victoire said as she thought of Ted's girlfriend. "And I know any chance she gets to stare me down or just be rude to me tonight, she'll take it."
"I think most of that is in your head," she said as Victoire seemed quick to jump on the defensive. However, Dominique held up her hand to silence her. "Not all in your head, mind you, but some. To be honest, I've always thought she was jealous of you."
"Why on earth—?" she began before she shook her head. "She has no reason to be!"
"That's easy for you to say. You're not the one whose boyfriend has grown up with a girl who most guys at school would give their right arm for a chance to take out." She made a face. "Disturbing truth, I know."
"You flatter me," she said sarcastically as she threw a nearby pillow at her. "But like I said, she had no reason to be. Teddy and I are nowhere near as close as we used to be and there were never any romantic feelings involved to begin with."
"Didn't you fancy him back in the day? I remember teasing you about it."
"I was five. He was the only boy I knew who wasn't related to me in some way," she said as her face fell. "Then we started growing apart when we were put in separate houses, followed by him getting annoyed with me for my choice in friends—"
"And the fact that you pretty much put those friends above all else," Dominique added. Victoire shot her a tired look, but the truth was that she was right. When Colleen and her friends had first approached her during her third year to join them at meals and in the common room, she had been so shocked and excited by the attention that she had started neglecting her other friendships slightly; including her oldest one.
"But you know, I tried to work through that," Victoire continued. "Even though I was constantly ridiculed by Ted and by Colleen for who my choice in other friends were, I still maintained both."
"Oh, however did you manage such hardship, Vic?" Dominique asked in an overly theatrical manner.
She frowned. "I was young, Nicki. You know the effect those girls have on people and I can't say I didn't fall victim to that. I'm not proud of it now knowing the crap I've gotten myself into with these girls, but we all make mistakes."
"At least you're realizing it sooner rather than later. But, hey, just remember, through all this shit Ted's always been there, and you at least owe it to him to suck it up and smile through his graduation party."
Victoire's face grew annoyed. "Always been there for me? Don't act like he's the innocent victim in all this and I'm the one who threw our friendship aside with no regard. He was the one who drew the biggest blow to it."
Dominique laughed. "You told him you hated his girlfriend. A girl he's mad about and you told him you couldn't stand her."
"Because she made it her mission to drive the wedge that already existed between us deeper!" she practically shouted. "I told you she didn't like me from day one, and when she found out that Ted and I were having problems, she would sit there and tell him how he was better off without me around and how useless I was as a friend."
"How do you know that?"
"Simon told me," she said as a matter-of-fact. "He said she would sit there in the Hufflepuff common room and lecture Teddy on all the evils that I was apparently and it got to the point where I think he actually started to believe them." Her face grew angry. "You know, no matter how many times Colleen would sit there and tell me how being friends with Ted was a waste of time and how he was boring or whatever terrible things she would say about him, not for one second did I believe it because I knew Ted. He was my best friend and my refuge from all of the shit and the drama those girls created."
Dominique stared at her. Victoire shook her head.
"So yes, it really hurt to hear Celia say those things and then when I turn around to confront Teddy about them, he sides with her," her face started to flush, "for him to believe her over me."
"I didn't know about that last part," Dominique said.
"Of course you didn't," she said as the color began to return to her cheeks. "I didn't tell anyone the truth. I just let Celia go around telling everyone whatever she wanted. I really thought that that was the end of Ted and me and it would be easier to deal with if people just thought that I was a bitch," she rolled her eyes. "Which most of them do now anyway, so mission accomplished."
"You really do have drama follow you everywhere don't you?"
"Welcome to my life," Victoire mumbled.