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: Every story has a beginning. Every relationship a spark. But most importantly, every friendship has a start. In Ted Lupin's life, his friendship with Victoire Weasley has always been one of the few constants he's always known. But what happens when things start to change? When new friends, girls, and life experiences start to disrupt what is familiar?

A/N: Part 1 of 4. This is a prequel to my fics "A Year in the Life" and "The Spark." They read best in order :)

June 2016

Hogwarts's graduation ceremony was held on a Saturday afternoon. N.E.W.T. exams had been completed after months and months of nervous preparation. Dormitories had been cleaned and emptied for the last time, while trunks had been packed and organized; never to return. As the entire collection of seventh-year students sat in the Great Hall being dutifully addressed by their headmaster, it was never more evident that the culmination of seven years worth of magical education was currently staring them in the face. This really was the end.

The headmaster droned on to the crowd of students—and family members who had attended—about how they "are the future" and how they should be "proud to have completed your magical education." The world was theirs for the taking, and the paths in front of them were long, optimistic, exciting—

"Boring…" Simon Reed whispered from his seat. He closed his eyes and let his head fall lazily to his hand.

Ted Lupin smiled from beside his friend, but kept his eyes fixated straight ahead. It was true that the headmaster's speech didn't seem to have an end in sight, but he figured this was all part of the pomp and circumstance of graduating. His last lecture as a Hogwarts's student as it were. He could suck it up for an hour or so.

He looked down at his Hufflepuff robes while the headmaster continued to speak. This was the last time he'd ever have to wear the yellow and black colors that had identified him and his house for the last seven years. A part of him felt a little sad about that, but a much larger part of him was relatively pleased. He'd never been a fan of the color yellow.

He glanced over his shoulder to the back of the room and attempted to find where his grandmother and Harry were. He had caught a glimpse of them—along with Harry's wife, Ginny—when he had walked in earlier, but he hadn't been able to find them since. He had hoped Harry would have brought his kids with him, but at the same time, he knew how dull they would have found this entire thing to be. After all, he was struggling to pay attention and this was his graduation ceremony. He could only imagine how restless James, Albus, and Lily would have been.

He turned back around and looked to his left. Simon was still trying his hardest to stay awake; his head slowly bobbing up and down as he kept blinking himself awake before drifting off again. Ted grinned and watched him struggle for a good minute before turning his attention to his right, where his girlfriend, Celia, was looking as if she was trying to pay rapt attention to everything the headmaster was saying. She looked rather sweet sitting there pretending to care, but Ted knew better. She always wanted to seem like she cared about stuff like this given that it was the right thing to do, but she was probably taking in as much of what was going on as Simon was.

He leaned back in his chair and took a long look around the Great Hall for what he knew would be his last time as a student. It was a weird feeling. He'd been so caught up in finishing this year, he hadn't really stopped to take in that this was his final year. Not until this very moment. This time next year, who knew where he'd be or what he'd be doing. Everything was changing.

Still, he couldn't help but think about all of the good and bad memories that were forever trapped between the walls of this castle. He liked to believe he was a different person than the eleven-year-old who had walked into the Great Hall seven years previously to be sorted, but he knew in some ways that he was still that exact same little boy. In certain senses, he always would be. But for the most part, he'd come a long way.

A/N: So, I'm back with the prequel! Part 1 of 4! (Part 2 being "A Year in the Life," Part 3 being "The Spark," which is "A Year in the Life" from Ted's POV and Part 4 being a sequel to both "A Year in the Life" and "The Spark") :shakes head: This thing was supposed to be, like, 5 chapters originally, and then it turned into a three story series...What is wrong with me? ;)

Also, to add, I've started a livejournal this go around, because I'm much more likely to respond there to any questions people may have. Plus, I just find it more convient to communicate with. The link is in my profile, so if you have one, feel free to friend me. :)