Last chapter. Okay I lied, this is much more of an epilogue. It's not my best, but I know it won't be appreciated if I didn't give some sort of lovey and family-y ending to the story.
One year and two months later:
"Please, Mum." I begged. "I've been good all summer right? I finished my homework halfway through! I tutored Lou…I'm Head Girl!" I emphasized the last bit. Yes, indeed I was. Though I guessed this was because Theri was already Quidditch Captain and couldn't be both. I reckoned Uncle Perce was slightly faltered, but my Dad was also Head Boy as well as the eldest so he didn't say much.
"Victoire!" Mum almost yelled. "Zat eez eenough! Of courze your father and I are very proud you made 'Ead Girl, but eet eez not an excuse to spend your last night 'ome not at 'ome!"
"Mais Maman, it's just one night, like any other night. Theri'll be there too, if…"
"Eet eez family night, you 'ear. You're all going back to school tomorrow, and your father and I want to be with all our children. Eez Ted more important to you zan your famille?"
I sighed. "'Course not, Maman. I'll stay tonight."
Mum raised her pale, beautiful face slightly upwards. "Zat eez a good girl. Now you can go tell Ted. But eef 'e wants to 'e can 'ave dinner 'ere."
"Oui, Maman." I stepped out of the kitchen when Mum watched over a pot of soup and a batch of peas peeling themselves with her wand raised. I entered the sitting room and pointed my wand at the fireplace. "Incendio," I muttered unwillingly, and threw a small handful of Floo powder into the fire when it erupted on command. "Catherine Weasley," I said to it, and stuck my head in. Theri was in her room, and I'm sure my head appeared on her mini furnace next to her wardrobe.
"Oh, hey Vic," she greeted, sitting up from her bed and lowering her book. "Any luck?"
I rolled my eyes. "You think?"
She shook her head. "Me neither, as you can imagine. Did you get the—"
"'Family night' talk? Yes. And the is your boyfriend—"
"—More important than your family? Yes. They invited Luke over for dinner, but I don't think I want him to suffer my father again. Dad already thinks it's all Luke's fault that I'm Quidditch Captain instead of Head Girl, and if he comes…well, let's just say it won't end well."
"Same, but I think I'll go through with it. They're fine with Ted, and Lou already knows so it won't seem odd to him. You know what's bloody annoying though? My Mum fussing over Ted in half French, and shoving down ten plates of food down his throat."
Theri laughed at the mental image. "Yeah, kinda like Grandma Weasley with Uncle Harry, right? He always says she holds an eternal belief that he's too skinny for his bones."
I laughed along with her. "Yeah well, I guess I'll see you at the platform tomorrow then, Captain."
"Reckon so," and after a short exchange of waves, I pulled my head out of the green fire. Patting the soot off my shoulders, I threw another pinch of Floo powder into the fire and proclaimed loudly to it, "Teddy Lupin."
When the world whirled back in place, I was looking at the sitting room of the house of Ted's grandmother, Mrs. Tonks. It was a cozy place with a large fireplace (which my head currently hovered in) with overstuffed cushions and sofas and an antique coffee table in the center. Shelves with magical and Muggle photos, tea sets, as well as small decorations and artifacts filled the shelves that aligned one of the walls. Ted was sprawled on one of the sofas, reading "Transfiguration Today" with an opened box of Every-Flavored Beans lying close to him.
"Hey Vic," he dropped the magazine as soon as he noticed my presence. "How'd it go?"
I sighed lightly. "Expectedly unwell," I told him, she shrugged. "But they invited you over for dinner instead."
He smiled. "Expectedly."
"So are you coming?"
He pursed his lips and cocked his head in mock consideration. I rolled my eyes and he laughed before standing and walking closer to me (or the fireplace, anyhow). Well, he sort of strutted, but that was perfectly fine by me as well. He looked awfully adorable with his hair bobbing up and down like that.
"Yes, I reckon I can squeeze that into my schedule."
"Why are you at your grandmother's?" I asked. He was usually at home, which for him is now a medium-sized flat he shared with Luke and Paul Campbell in London. The owner was an ancient and sinfully rich warlock who could honestly care less about three nineteen year-olds in one of his many properties. Rent was cheap and life was good for the boys.
"She's going to Scotland with a few girl friends tomorrow and won't be back for two weeks, so I thought I'd pay a visit."
"That's sweet of you," I commented. "Were you going to have dinner with her originally? I'm sure it'd be alright if you both join us for dinner. I haven't seen her since July, after all."
"Yeah, sounds great," he looked at his watch. "In fact, I think I'll head over now and ask her later. Catch a few more hours together?"
"Sure, whenever you can." I pulled back and the image of him and his smile vanished, and I was back in my own sitting room once more. In a matter of minutes, I was joined by Ted, solid and touchable in front of me. He pulled me into a slow kiss before any form of exchange of hellos—well, I was more than happy to oblige.
"Ahem," came a voice behind me, causing me to pull back automatically. "How inappropriate, right in front of innocent and inexperienced children such as myself and all."
"I hope that's what you still are," I told my little sister with a hint of dryness, letting go of Ted. She chuckled at my expression and threw something large at me. The soft object brushed passed my hand and (not unexpectedly) dropped to the ground. Sighing inwardly, I bent to retrieve what turned out to be a full set of dress robes. "What for?"
"Mum reckons it goes better with your badge than the one you were going to wear originally," Dom explained. "Which means now you can give it to me," she added, fluttering her lashes dramatically.
"Ugh, Mum and this whole Head Girl thing."
"You know you want it. And you know you want to give your ex-robes to me," Dom half-sang, and I waved my hand in the exhasperated older sister fashion and watched her run out of the room in triumph.
I turned to Ted. "Where were we?"
I took another bite of scallop, vividly aware that Mrs. Tonks was watching my every move. Sure, she'd known that Ted and I had been going out for a year or so, but she never seemed to lessen her interest in me as time passed. Honestly, I preferred it back when she only wondered if I needed another biscuit or if I was too cold. The good old days.
"Eleven O.W.L.s, I can't believe it," began Dad, but paused. "On second thought, I can. But still, Freddie! Molly, no surprise there, but Fred! It's more than both his dad's and his uncle Fred's put together, literally… But that's besides the point...the stew's really great, honey."
"Deespite 'ow I theenk the Breeteesh tests are way to 'urried, I am extremely proud of 'im, I think he deserves eet," joined my mother. "And thank you for zee complements, Bill my dearest."
"I actually don't see how Ted didn't achieve just as high," Ted laughed when his grandmother cast him a dangerous glare. "Up until the O.W.L.s I never knew Teddy had special issues with memorizing troll names."
Ted rolled his eyes. "Because that's such a very practical skill, grandma."
"Well, you never know, grandson…"
Later, after dinner was off the table, Dom, Lou, Ted and I were ordered to do the dishes and make tea as usual. What the grown-ups didn't know, however, was that we kids tended to have a tad more fun doing chores than we were supposed to.
"Aha! Loser misser messer upper!"
"Dom, hold on to it, we need to stock up—Accio, Accio—here, aim, or duck, duck!" I shoved her head down as a sponge went flying by, missing my right ear by inches. "Bloody hell, Louis Arthur Weasley!"
Dom pointlessly hid the bowl and wet cloth she was holding behind her back. "'Lo Dad."
"What are you guys doing?" We all looked back at him guiltily. "And to think half of you are of age! How immature…" he picked up one of the sponges that lay near him. "…And an awesome idea!" the sponge hit Ted straight in the face. As we all simultaneously began to attack him, he raised his arms to cover his face and laughed. "No, no, now, my kids will have to wake up early tomorrow morning. I was supposed to tell you all to be done with things and go off to bathe."
When he exited, Ted bent close to me while retrieving some wet tissue paper that was lying on the counter. "There's an interesting mental image."
I shoved him. "Pervert."
"If that's what you want me to be."
"Oh, ew, lusting conversations outside of my range of hearing please," Lou walked through the middle of us, pushing us away. Ted laughed and dropped the tissue he was holding onto the former's rather out-of-control blonde hair. My little brother, who had recently grown to love hair gel and hair-straightening spells above all else lately, shrieked and jumped back, shaking his head violently and causing tissue to fly everywhere.
"Merlin, brother, I thought we were trying to clean up here," I took a piece of tissue out of his hair and tossed it in the bin (amazingly it went in). "Alright, alright, I know the golden rule, don't mess with the hair. Fred taught me that…once," I couldn't help but sneak a glance at Ted for that memory.
But things were good now, between Ted and I, I mean. Sure, we fight sometimes, but all couples do. We hardly see each other, but when there's a Hogsmeade weekend he almost always comes and we spend the better parts of our vacations together. We write more than often and we trust each other enough not to cheat. Same went for Theri and Luke, except that they broke up once (it wasn't too pretty) around five months ago. However, that was a thing of the past and this summer they were always together it almost seemed as if they were stuck together like…
"Slimy socks!" Dom exclaimed, holding up what appeared to be two lumps of cloth affixed by mud. "What in Merlin's favorite chew chocolate chip biscuits are these doing in the bloody kitchen?"
Lou laughed. "I'm betting on Fred, maybe James."
"Have they not heard of triple Veela wrath?" Dom ridiculed, tossing the socks into the bin as well. "Oh go on Vic, just take care of the rest of this so we can go to bed. I don't want to start out drowsy."
"Scourgify, well, me neither, Scourgify. Wingardium Leviosa," I directed a bundle of sponges back into the sink. Ted brandished his wand and quit the manual laboring as well.
Ten minutes later, the four of us stood back-to-back like they do on Muggle television when the characters accomplish some serious handiwork. "Done," Dom concluded.
The kitchen door opened. "Oh, bon, you're all done," said my mother. "Bedtime."
"Be seeing you?"
"Oh come on, the whistle hasn't even blown yet," Ted took the back of my head with a hand and pulled me into a deep, slow, thorough kiss. Perfect, really. Something for me to live on before the first Hogsmeade trip—
"Merlin! You! And you! You you! Two of you! You two!"
"Nice addition skills, James."
"You may go now, James."
"But you two!"
Ted turned my young cousin around by the shoulder and gave him a little shove, before turning back to me with a huge grin on his face. "I guess it's no longer a secret among the boys."
"Guess not. At least you don't have to endure them all in a certain little cozy, circular, and most of all very enclosed and crowded room."
"I really do believe James had gone a bit rebellious on me knowing that I gave my little secret heirloom to Freddie, but I promised him that when Fred graduated it'll be his."
"So they can sneak into the girls' dormitories as well?"
"Well, someone's gotta wake you if I can't," he replied coyly.
"The map's detrimental to boys' minds, Ted. If I'd known you had it. And I still can't believe you didn't share! And Luke as well, of all those times…"
He took me in his hands again and bent closer slowly. "Come here."
I grinned widely "I shall."
"Oh hey! I mean, sorry, but oh hey!" Caitlyn bounced towards us with the usual over-enthusiasim she tended to possess on first day of schools. "Well, it's so great to see you two! You've no idea how bored I've been during summer, like honestly. I mean, all I did was visit my grandparents in Wales for like the millionth time. Really."
"Stop it, can't you tell they were going to kiss? ("Oh my goodness, Hale!" screeched Caitlyn, hugging the newcomer) But really it is great to see everyone. Sucks that summer ended, but still. Head Girl!" Hale gave me a hug, which was slightly awkward due to Caitlyn still attached to her.
"Oh Merlin's Merlin, you guys!"
"Alright, enough of the girl group hugs thingies, I want in too."
"Hey Luke, how's it going?"
"About the same as last week, Vic, when we last saw each other."
"I thought you might be." When I was about to go on, a shrill whistle rang through the station, causing everyone to give a small start. "Oh, time to go…"
"Cheer up, Head Girl," Ted took me by my shoulders as the crowd began to ascend to the train. "I'll be seeing you soon, and hearing from you sooner, right? Because I love you and we both know you can't ever get enough of me either?"
I smiled my best at him, taking in his features: the navy blue hair, and those milk chocolate eyes that were a shade darker today, making them more the color of the topping of crème brulée. Honestly, it wasn't odd for me to compare his facial details to food. I liked food. A lot. "Yep, reckon so."
He leaned in and put a hand against his ear. "Say what?"
I rolled my eyes but chuckled. "I love you, Ted."
The end! Fin! Done!
Thanks so much to all my reviewers for this story, as well as those who just read it, thank you guys too. I hope it was worth your time. I want to make sure that everyone knows that all their feedback are extremely appreciated and loved and simply made my day, but I've a few readers who are my constant reviewers from almost the beginning and have pretty much supported me all the way through whom I'd like to acknowledge: (in no particular order) Cetesy, maddikinz940, kshannon1940, FollowingTheInkTrail, trobairiz, Spicysweetchica101, All's Fair, Swimstar, lyrical-harmonies, and books4evah.
Others (and there are faithful reviewers who came halfway and others who've read almost the entire story and left a couple of reviews that I truly appreciate), you know who you are, thank you SO, SO much as well. If I've never replied to your reviews, I'm sorry, but I've read them all and love them all!
As for the future, I have started a story that's Marauder-era. It's a bit darker, with a lot more irony and sarcasm, and has (I hope) more depth than this one. I've begun writing it in (again, I hope) a rather different style (it's third person this time), but still somewhat similar (no, I didn't change completely overnight). Also, it's going to be more epic and longer than this one, with shorter chapters (or I'm trying anyways).
However, I'm most likely not going to start posting until I'm sure exactly where I'm heading with this story, which, for now, is called Serious Matters. So if you're still interested in my work after reading this, I hope you'll give that one a chance in the future.
So anyways, thank you all VERY MUCH for reading this. Maybe I'll be able to entertain you all with more of my work sometime soon. (:
Sincerely (haha I know),