Running on less than an hour of sleep, and using what little adrenaline he had left, Ted walked into St. Mungo's just before six o'clock in the morning. He still smelled like a mixture of the woods and sweat, but it only took him a second to forget all about that upon walking across the ground floor of the hospital. It was a complete madhouse. At least sixty people were currently sitting in the waiting area looking to be helped. Some were bleeding from minor wounds, some looked bruised and broken, and others looked to be several different degrees of ill. One man in particular was vomiting into a stationary plant pot just off to the side of the room. Ted had never seen anything like it.
He took the stairs to the third floor, avoiding the lifts at all costs given the masses of people who were trying to get on them. As he reached the corner of the hospital where the lab was situated, he noticed it was far quieter here than it had been downstairs, though, he could still hear the cries and calls of various Healers down the corridor. It was at the point where he was afraid of entering the lab for fear of what he might have to see.
He pushed open the door to the lab and was met with Paul, Hazel, and Nate all standing around the cook station. They all glanced at him as he entered, each looking a little tired, but no worse for the wear. They looked nothing like the Healers that he'd seen scrambling around the ground floor moments earlier.
"Morning, Ted," said Paul.
Ted gave a lazy wave and looked around. He had seriously expected to see this place turned upside down. How was it so calm in here, yet so mad out there?
"Is it still chaos out there?" Hazel asked.
"Yeah," he said as he threw his bag down. "What's going on?"
"Quidditch World Cup," Paul said obviously. "Thousands of people getting together over alcohol, sport, and ego, and well…" He rolled his eyes. "People get hurt."
"Oh," Ted said blankly.
"And we, for once, planned ahead," Hazel said with a tired smile. "Everyone laughed at me last week when I was telling everyone to brew extra Strengthen Draughts and Blood Clotting Serums, but did we run out of anything today?"
Paul and Nate shook their heads.
"The most work we had to do was run all over the hospital restoring supply cupboards," she continued. "All in all, a successful night."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah…" Nate said with a begrudging, but appreciative smile towards Hazel. "Things did go pretty smooth. For once."
"Thanks to me," Hazel said, still smiling.
"We get it Hazel, you're Merlin's gift to this hospital," Nate mumbled. "Do you want a medal?"
"No, but a cup of tea would be nice."
"Make Durrin go get it when he gets back from his ninety-ninth supply run," Nate said before turning to Ted. "By the way, you're training him today."
Ted nodded. Given that he'd just had two days off, he had little room to argue about training the new guy.
"So," Nate said as he walked over to Ted's desk. "How was the match?"
"Oh, right," Paul said. "I forgot you went to the World Cup."
Ted smiled. Even though the match had happened less than twenty-four hours earlier, it seemed as though it had happened months ago. So much had happened in between that he'd almost forgotten about it entirely. "It was great."
Ted shrugged. "Yeah, I mean, Argentina won and everyone celebrated. That's really it."
"You got two days off and you come back to tell us that?" Nate said. "Seriously, Ted, I was kind of hoping for a little more of a story."
He smiled lazily. "I'm running on no sleep, so I'll get back to you."
Nate began to shake his head wearily, just as the lab door opened and in walked Durrin Adams, the lab's newest hire fresh out of Hogwarts. He was tall and athletic looking with copper red hair and freckles, which allowed Ted to easily recognize him from their days at school. He had been in Gryffindor and had played Quidditch for their team, but what had most stuck out in Ted's mind when Durrin had first walked into the lab a month previously was a very random memory from about two years ago. A memory from when Ted had been in his sixth year. He wasn't even sure why he remembered it, but the second he had been introduced to Durrin on his first day at the hospital, it triggered something to recollect it in his head.
It had been just days after his huge fight with Victoire and had been standing in the corridors waiting for Simon, or Celia, or someone--he couldn't remember exactly. He had been leaning against the wall outside of the Transfiguration room when Durrin and two of his other fifth-year friends walked by. One of the friends, a squirrelly looking boy, had stopped upon noticing Ted.
"Hey, are you the one who had the big row out on the grounds the other day?" he had asked. "The one with Victoire Weasley?"
Ted stared at him.
"Yeah, it's him," Durrin had said, pointing to him. "He's the Metamorphmagus guy."
Ted looked away. The Metamorphmagus guy, huh? That was a new one. He usually just got, "the weird one" or the "the guy with the hair," but he had to give the kid credit for actually getting the term right.
"Why'd you two fight?" the squirrelly boy asked.
"I really don't think that's any of your business," Ted said in a disinterested manner.
"Jeez," squirrelly boy said. "I was just curious. I mean, she's pretty hot, so I don't see why you'd want to fight with her."
Ted cocked his eyebrow. "That doesn't even make any sense."
"He rarely does," Durrin had muttered before walking away. Squirrelly boy made a face and followed after him, arguing something about, "What's that supposed to mean?" until his voice faded down the corridor. Ted wasn't even sure why the memory still held to him, but it was always surprising to him to see what he actually remembered over time and what he didn't.
Hazel had smiled once Durrin entered the lab. He set down several folders and had barely taken three steps before she said, "Durrin, I've got a job for you!"
His face flinched. Ted could easily remember the days of being run around like errand boy and immediately sympathized with him. Not that that was going to stop him from running Durrin around himself, but he at least sympathized.
"I'd really like some tea," she said pleasantly.
Durrin sighed, knowing he had little say in the matter. "Anyone else want anything?"
Both Nate and Paul both said coffee at the same time, and then both gave completely different instructions as to how they took it. Durrin rubbed his eyes wearily. It was now clear as to why Paul, Nate, and Hazel didn't look half as tired as Ted had assumed they would be. They'd been sending Durrin off to do everything.
"Here," Ted said. "I'll go, too."
"There's an idea," Nate said. "Since you're training him today, you should train him to know how I like my coffee."
"Or I can train him to learn how to tell you to piss off," Ted suggested. He glanced at Durrin. "It's definitely something you'll need to know around here."
"That's for sure," Hazel said once Ted reached the door and pulled it open. He held it for Durrin to pass and the two of them ventured down the corridor towards the stairs. The lifts were still far too busy for them to attempt to take.
"How was the World Cup?" Durrin asked as they climbed the last flight of stairs before reaching the tea room. "That's where you went, right?"
"Yeah," Ted said. "It was a lot of fun." He smiled as he thought of Victoire. "A lot of fun."
"Did you do the whole camping thing?"
Ted nodded. "Yeah, some friends and I did."
Durrin's expression turned slightly jealous "Lucky you. I best you had the best time."
He thought of Victoire again. "Yeah, I did."
"Were people going crazy after the match?"
Ted made a gesture to indicate around the hospital. "I think the amount of people here right now answers that question."
Durrin laughed. "I would have never been able to sleep."
"I didn't," he said as they reached the fifth floor. "Well, maybe for like an hour, but that's about it."
"Did you party and celebrate? I would have been running around going crazy."
Ted shrugged. "I mostly just relaxed and took everything in. I just sort of ended up spending most of my time with," he hesitated slightly, "this really amazing girl."
"Oh, yeah?" Durrin asked with a little smile. "That's cool."
"Yeah, we had a lot of fun," Ted said, thinking back to the night before. After telling Simon about their relationship and dealing with his reaction, he'd walked Victoire back down to her campsite once she'd convinced him that spending all night together wasn't going to help keep their secret quiet. When they'd arrived at her site and noticed Harry, Ginny, and the other adults all sitting around the campfire chatting, Ted had decided to stay for bit. He wasn't planning on that bit to turn into hours at a time, but with Victoire there, he didn't let it bother him.
There was a sort of thrill involved in pretending that they weren't together. The feeling of sitting right next to her—talking to her as if they hadn't just spent an hour rolling around on a camp bed together—but not being able act on any of the impulses he had was strangely compelling. At least ten times, he had wanted to reach over and grab her hand or touch her, but he couldn't. He had to stop himself…Which only made him want to do it more.
Even though they couldn't act on anything, they managed to find moments. Ted had taken to lightly pinching the back of her arm when they were seated side by side and listening to someone else talk. She had returned the gesture by frequently letting her arm rest on his leg, but making it seem like an accident. If someone had been really paying attention, or even half paying attention, they would have been able to easily figure that something was different between the two of them. Luckily for them, everyone seemed too tired to really notice.
One by one, as everyone trickled off to bed and night slowly began to creep closer and closer morning, Victoire seemed determined to outlast everyone else. However, when it came down to just Ted, her, Louis, and Jack at around four-thirty in the morning, it was pretty clear that she was fighting a losing battle. She even seemed to stop being so discrete at one point, or least that's what Ted thought as she leaned her head onto his shoulder and fell asleep.
"I'm going to go back to my camp," Ted had said as he lightly roused her. "You should get some sleep."
She picked her head off his shoulder and looked at him with sleepy eyes. Several feet away, Louis and Jack were still going strong and looked as if they weren't showing any signs of slowing down.
"Why?" she asked.
"I have to be at work in a little over an hour," he said. "I'm going to try and get an hour of sleep beforehand."
She looked confused. Given how exhausted she was, this wasn't surprising. "You have to work?"
He nodded. "Yeah, it's crap."
She sat up straight and rubbed her eyes. She looked back over at her brother, who was laughing at something Jack had just said. "Stupid Louis. I wish he'd just go to bed."
Ted also looked in Louis's direction. He had to agree with her. Why couldn't they just go to bed already so that he and she could get a few minutes of privacy? As it seemed, Louis and Jack were ready to go all night.
"I really should go, though," Ted said as he made motion to stand up. Victoire did as well just as Louis and Jack looked at them both.
"You're leaving?" Louis asked.
"I have to be at work soon," Ted said.
"Rotten luck," he said.
Ted glanced at Victoire. "Tell me about it." He turned back to Louis and suddenly pointed. "Hey, Lou, what the hell is that behind you?"
Both Louis and Jack looked, but Ted hadn't been pointing at anything specific. He took the moment to lean in and quickly kiss Victoire. He pulled away and smiled. "Bye."
"I don't see anything," Louis said.
Victoire laughed and Ted forced his face to look confused. "I swear I saw something. Maybe I just need some sleep." He shrugged and smiled at Victoire. "See you all later."
That had been how Ted predominately spent his evening. By the time he had gotten back to his own camp, everyone was either gone or asleep. He had almost instantly fallen asleep once his head hit the pillow, only to be awaken an hour later by the fact that he now had to spend his day in a laboratory. As it was, the trip he was making for coffee was desperately needed. He was even contemplating whether or not he should whip himself up a potion that would give him the energy to get through the day.
Durrin reached the tearoom door first and pulled it open. It was fairly crowded inside, and by the looks of the crowd, they had mostly come straight from the World Cup. These weren't the sick or the hurt, though. These there were the ones waiting on word about their loved ones conditions.
They both made their way through the crowd and over towards the coffee and tea where a small line had formed. Ted had begun instructing Durrin on how to make sure he should always short Nate one sugar in his coffee when he was being particularly obnoxious—a rule that Hazel had instated, yet everyone seemed to follow—when he recognized Elizabeth's familiar face entering the room.
He hadn't seen much of Elizabeth since their conversation in Russia, and when he did, it was mostly in passing. She had finished her six month rotation on the second floor and had thus been moved down to the ground floor for her training in Magical Artifact Malfunctions. At this very moment, however, she looked exhausted. She clearly had been among the Healers that Ted had noticed when he'd entered. The ground floor had been the busiest floor of them all.
She stepped up behind Ted in line, but didn't seem to recognize him. She simply leaned her head back against the wall, closed her eyes, and waited her turn.
"Long night?" Ted asked her.
She opened her eyes and looked at him, suddenly realizing who was speaking. "I hate my job."
"That's not true."
"I do today," she said. "I cannot even tell you the number of broom stick injuries we had come in to day. Hundreds! Hundreds of idiots trying to replicate the tricks they saw at the World Cup." She made a face. "I mean, there are reasons why you people aren't professional Quidditch players!"
Ted smirked, but tried to hide it. "I'd believe it."
"Have you all been busy in your corner of the hospital?" she asked.
He shrugged. "I just got here. I was at the World Cup."
She stared at him, her eyes heavy. "I hate you."
"That's not true, either."
She stood up straight. "You better tell me you had a miserable time," she said, "because I may just hit you if you tell me you had fun while I was stuck here going insane."
He looked up and shifted his weight on his feet. "I probably shouldn't say anything, then."
She groaned a little. "Okay, now I really do hate you, Ted. We're not friends anymore."
He smiled. "Sorry."
She shook her head and settled her eyes on Durrin, who had been watching the two of them converse. She smiled curiously. "Durrin?"
She laughed a little. "What are you doing here?"
"I'm training to be in antidote research." He gestured towards Ted.
She laughed a little and stepped forward to give him a hug. "I haven't seen you in ages."
"Yeah," he said. "Not since you and Stu split up."
She rolled her eyes. "Ah, yes, I forgot you were around for all of that."
"Good times," he said sarcastically as the line moved forward so that they could help themselves to coffee. "Last I heard, you and Thorpe were together."
She nodded. "And I bet you heard that from Stu."
Durrin made an awkward face as he picked up a coffee cup. "Yeah…He didn't take that well."
"Wait," Ted said pointing at Elizabeth. "You and Thorpe worked things out?"
"I didn't tell you that?"
Ted shook his head.
"Oh," she said blankly. "Well, yeah, we did. About a month a half ago. See, this is what happens when they send me down to the ground floor. I lose all sense of direction and time. I disappear."
Ted grinned. "Hey, that's good, then. At least you worked things out."
She smiled lazily; her previous cranky demeanor cracked ever so slightly. "Did you ever work things out?" she asked. "With that girl you were talking about in Russia?"
"I did," he said as he started filling his cup up with coffee. "Just last night, in fact."
"So, it took you," she stopped to do the math in her head, "Over three months?"
"Hey, it took you a good couple month to sort your deal out with Thorpe…"
She started to help herself to coffee. "True, but I also had a huge obstacle in the way in the form of my ex-boyfriend. What did you have?"
Ted scratched his head. "Let's just say, I had things I had to deal with."
She smirked at him and stepped around him to grab some sugar. "I'm sure."
"I'm telling you, if you knew the circumstances…"
"I'm mostly kidding, Ted." She dumped some sugar into her coffee before stirring it. "But hey, since you worked things out, now you can tell me who it is. Maybe I know her."
"I'm pretty sure you do know her."
"Well, who is it?" she asked. "If I know her, perhaps we could all get together sometime and hang out. I need more friends in couples to hang out with because I always feel like my single friends think they're the third wheel."
Ted sipped his coffee and stared at her. That probably wasn't such a good idea. Not because of the slight past he and Elizabeth had—they both seemed content to put them behind them—but rather, due to the past that Victoire and David had.
"I don't know if that would work," he said.
He glanced at Durrin, who was still busy filling various coffee cups and barely paying attention. "See, my girlfriend used to date your boyfriend."
Elizabeth stared into his face as though studying him. "Well, that means your girlfriend is either that trampy slag he dated a few months ago whose name I don't even remember, Hannah Dowling, or Victoire Weas…" She stopped as if she suddenly realized. Her jaw slowly began to drop.
Ted cringed. He had really been counting on a guy like David to have had a lot more than just three girls to choose from. That wasn't supposed to be that easy to figure out.
"Oh, that's adorable…"
Ted rolled his eyes, but smiled none the less. "Just do me a favor. It's new, so we're keeping it a bit quiet for now."
She sipped her coffee and began making her way down the line towards the cashier. "I can understand that." She laughed a little. "Yeah, I suppose double dating would be a bit odd then, wouldn't it?"
"A little bit."
Elizabeth laughed before disappearing around the corner to pay for her coffee; swinging back around to say bye to both Ted and Durrin before exiting the tearoom. The pair of them, in turn, gathered and paid for all the cups they had filled and, with their hands full, they slowly started to make their way back to the lab.
"You know," Durrin said as they walked. "Back when I was younger. I used to have such a thing for Liz."
Ted laughed. "I think a lot of people did."
"Probably…" he agreed. "But yeah, back in like my third and fourth year, I though she was the prettiest girl that I'd ever seen. But, then she and Stu got together, so I moved on."
Ted smiled a little. That story seemed familiar.
"Looking back, she was definitely one of the hottest girls we went to school with. Maybe even the hottest."
Ted considered this. "Yeah, she's okay. But, I can definitely think of someone else what was a lot hotter."
Durrin looked at him. "Who's that, then?"
Ted simply smiled.
A/N: The End :)
Well, I do hope you've enjoyed Ted's journey. As I've told some people, this story ended up being written because after "A Year in the Life" was done, a few people asked what Ted's side of the story was, which got me to thinking what Ted's side of the story was; in turn, it got me to write Ted's story. So, I really do read what you all say and review, and hey, sometimes I write a story about it. :)
There will be a sequel, so keep your eyes open! I'm not done with it, and my rule is that I don't post anything until it's complete (it's why you get such rapid updates!) It won't be posted tomorrow or probably within the week. I don't know when it'll be posted, though it shouldn't be too, too long. Whenever it is, it'll be here :) I can't even say much about it because, while I have the main plot mapped out, I've been adding a lot to it lately, so it's constantly changing. What I can say is that it will be from both Ted and Victoire's POV and it'll pick up where this story left off because I've got some things planned for these two... ;)
So THANK YOU all for reading and reviewing. Those of you that reviewed everyday, I know you all by name and you're especially awesome. :)