Before Victoire, Ted had never been on a first name basis with any of his girlfriends fathers, but he had known Bill Weasley all his life. With previous girlfriends, it had always been a case of strict formality, politeness, and undeniable awkwardness. This was something he had come to expect from possible future in-laws, but then after a dizzying period after his seventh year at Hogwarts, he went and fell for Victoire Weasley, and in-laws became less fear and more family.
News of their blossoming romance spread quickly amongst the Weasley family, as did most gossip, and Ted was left to deal with the fallout whilst Victoire was safe at Hogwarts. Whilst she received numerous letters and greetings from gushing aunts and her mother, Ted was less lucky. Not only did he deal with the gushing full-on from the women, and the suggestive pats on the back from the men, he also received a visit from Bill Weasley.
He was enjoying a wash in the temperamental shower in his flat on a rare day-off from work when someone knocked on the door. Presuming it was his landlord, or the crazy woman from down the hall who seemed to stop round a couple of times a month to check he was still eating nutritious meals, he didn't hesitate to answer the door wearing nothing but a sopping wet towel, presuming he would only be a minute.
His life was full of presumptions, but they rarely ever worked out for him. Bill Weasley stared back at him, one eyebrow raised. "Ted," he said cautiously, "caught you at a bad time, did I?"
Stunned into a moment of rare silence, Ted just took a step back. "um, no, Bill." he glanced over his shoulder, not to check anything in particular, but more of a nervous habit so he didn't have to meet his gaze for a second. "What can I help you with?"
never once in his life had he been that nervous around any of the Weasley's. It was unnatural to be that formal with someone he had spent half of his childhood with, playing on the beach and camping in their back yard in the summer. Bill too seemed taken off guard by this, and his brow lifted somewhat further.
Instead, the older man took the initiative and broke the awkward silence. "Fancy a pint in the leaky cauldron?" he asked.
This was not a rare occasion for Ted, except that Harry or some of the other numerous members of the family had always been present. Never before had the two men sat alone in such a fashion, simply because Ted, even at nineteen, was still somewhat considered to be one of the children, despite being the eldest.
This had been a strong and momentous occasion for Ted. Although Bill had never treated him differently as such, there was a mutual respect between them. They had chatted for a good two hours, man to man, about Victoire and her future, Ted's future, and Victoire and Ted's future together. With the assistance of alcohol, they had become increasingly more honest and passionate about how they envisaged the future, or what Ted envisioned as three children and a cat.
Three years later, it was Ted knocking on the door to Shell Cottage, and it was Bill that answered. It was his turn to look shocked, and immediately he glanced past the doorframe in search of his daughter, but at a loss, he settled on Ted instead.
"bill," he said with a nervous smile, "fancy a pint?"
for Bill, this could mean only two things: Either Ted was concerned about his daughter, and needed help, or...
Ted couldn't get the words out as he perched on a barstool, so he pulled out a small velvet box from his jacket pocket, and placed it between them. He looked questioningly at his future father in law, and broke out into an immediate smile. "I thought it would only be respectful to ask you first. Presumptions, yes, but respectful."
He couldn't help it: "Why teddy, are you asking me to marry you?"
Ted snorted, and giddy with the question burning his throat, he said, "no you big ugly mutt, but can I please marry your daughter?"