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.
A/N: This part 4 of 4. If you're here before checking out part 1: "The Start", part 2 "A Year in the Life", or part 3 "The Spark" do not pass go! They read best in order, and you won't have a clue what's going on since this is the sequel to them all. :) See my profile for more info and a chronology of the series.
Special thanks to deadwoodpecker for her beta help!
Summary: After finally working out their feelings, Teddy and Victoire are together at last. Even when a little distance finds its way between them, it can't damper what they both know is a truly amazing thing. After all, it's just a few months until Christmas...
But just because the drama has stopped for the two of them, doesn't mean the drama has stopped in the lives of those around them. Things are changing everyday for everyone, but for whom do these changes bring smiles and for whom do they bring tears? Why is it that everyone now seems to be hiding something? And why does drama always try to force itself upon a good thing?
Additional A/N: And I'm back with the final installment of my T/V series! The sequel to it all, as told by Ted and Victoire. Phew! I know some of you have been following me since day one and have been waiting awhile for this, so I hope I can deliver. This story is the longest of them all at 40 chapters, so we've got quite a ways to go!
Also, this story is a little different from my others in that there are two versions of it. A T rated version and an M rated version. Let me start by saying that they are NOT different stories; the plots are identical in both. The only difference is that there are certain instances in the M rated version where I continue on with a scene that I would have already ended in the T version. It's your call as to whether or not you want to read on. I know some people aren't a fan of delving into that sort of thing, and I have readers across the board. I'd hate for someone to not be able to experience the end of the series just because they're not comfortable with M content or they're of a younger persuasion. So, THIS TIME, I compromised. :) I started the series in T, I'll end it there as well.
But! There is another version for those of you who aren't fazed by it. The one hosted here is the T rated version. The M rated version is hosted at my fic journal (you can find a link to it in my profile, or seek out weasley_wannabe at livejournal). Feel free to follow the link over to my journal for more information and instructions, and feel free to friend me if you're interested. I'll remind people throughout the story as to which chapters have an alternative version.
Anyway, enough rambling. On with the show. :)
Victoire Weasley stared up at the ceiling from her position on the floor of her living room. She was bored. She was unbelievably bored. She was so bored that she had been counting the seconds as they ticked by on the clock for the last seven minutes. 421 seconds thus far…422…423…424.
"What are you doing?" asked the voice of her brother, Louis, who had entered the room loudly chewy on something crispy.
Victoire barely picked her head up off the floor. "Absolutely nothing."
"I can see that, but why are you lying on the floor?"
"Because there was absolutely nothing to do on the sofa, or upstairs, or in the kitchen," she said, pulling herself up to face him. "So, I thought perhaps the floor would provide something new."
It was true. There really wasn't anything to do. After one of the most eventful summers of her life—a month in France, a trip to the Quidditch World Cup, and the start of a new relationship with one her oldest friends—things had tapered off. She'd gotten back from France and the World Cup almost two weeks ago to find that her best friend, Whit, was now on holiday in the Bahamas with family, and that her boyfriend, Ted, had to work…which he did a lot. His hours were ridiculous when she really thought about it.
That's not to say things weren't eventful when Ted wasn't working, but those moments weren't as frequent as Victoire would have liked them to be. No one could say they didn't make the effort, though. Even when Ted was too exhausted to do much, he and she would still find the time to spend together. If was something as insignificant as just taking a nap, they'd do it. As far as she was concerned, doing nothing with him was a lot more fun that doing nothing without him.
From what Ted told her, things wouldn't always be this busy for him, but lately he was swamped down at St. Mungo's Hospital—where he worked in antidote research. He claimed that the hospital was working him more than usual because of some dragon pox presentation he had to give on the first of September, which of course could not have been worse timing for the two of them. Why things couldn't have waited until after she was back at school to get this hectic, she'd never understand; unfortunately, she had little say in the matter.
She knew deep down that it was probably better that they couldn't spend all of their time together. They were trying to keep their new relationship a secret from most of their families and friends, knowing that everyone would make an unnecessarily huge deal out of things once they were discovered. She knew her parents would be taken completely by surprise, and that the entire dynamic of how Ted was received around her family would totally change. Instead of him being able to simply waltz upstairs to sit and talk, her mother would probably make him sit in the living room so she could monitor them, just as she'd done with Victoire's last boyfriend. If her parents knew what was going on, instead of being able to go visit with Ted freely like she was allowed to do now, they would both probably restrict her from visiting his flat on her own.
And this was Ted! This wasn't even some random boy she'd brought around! This was a boy her parents had known his entire life, yet they would still instill the same set of insanely strict rules and boundaries. It was so stupid. She was seventeen after all, so technically she could do whatever she wanted. But that would never be the case as long as she was still at home and in school; even if she liked to pretend otherwise.
Louis sat down on the sofa nearest to his sister. "Yeah, well, I'm wicked bored."
"Didn't you say Jack was coming over later? At least you've got that to look forward to."
"Yeah, but that doesn't make me any less bored now."
"Dominique said Sarah was supposed to come over later, too," she added, thinking of her sister and her best friend. "At least you'll have something to keep you busy then."
"You're not sticking around, then?" he asked.
Victoire shook her head. "I'm going over to Ted's."
"So what?" she asked, glancing up at him. Louis was one of the people who still had no clue about her and Ted's relationship. Her sister, Dominique, was aware of things, but Victoire had continued to keep her brother in the dark for the sake of secret. She had no particular reason for doing this other than she was keeping it a secret from everyone. She wouldn't have told her sister if she could have helped it, but Dominique had been privy to details that others hadn't been; she'd known about things before she and Ted had made their relationship official. After everything that had happened at the Quidditch World Cup, Dominique wasn't stupid enough to believe that nothing had come from it.
"You've just been hanging out with him a lot lately, is all," Louis said.
She sighed lazily. "We don't see each other much these days what with school and work getting in the way. That's what summer is for, after all. Catching up with friends." She bit her lip. "Plus, with Whit gone for the last week and a half, he's really the only one around I enjoy spending time—er, killing time with."
She smiled a little after saying that. That was exactly the way she had to play this if she didn't want people catching on. She needed to make it seem as though Ted was really the only other option and that's why they were spending so much time together.
"Tell Ted to come over here," Louis said with a lazy yawn. "You're always going over there. He never comes round here these days."
There was a reason for that, of course, but Victoire wasn't about to announce it. She simply hummed as if she agreed with him, though offered nothing further. Spending time here at her house meant that she and Ted had to make a point of keeping their act up. At his flat, they could just be themselves. At his flat, they could do whatever they wanted; that was the way she much preferred it to be.
A sudden knock at the door gave Victoire a start. Things were so quiet and monotonous around the house that even the sound of a fist on the wood door seemed foreign. She glanced at Louis, who had placed his crisps down on the sofa and was already standing to make his way to answer it.
Good, she thought. She hadn't wanted to stand up anyway.
She could hear her brother greet someone and watched the entrance of the room for someone to make them self apparent. Victoire knew that if she only moved herself just a few centimeters to the right, she'd have a complete view of the front door and whoever was there, but even that seemed like too much work at the moment.
"Hey," said a familiar sounding voice that happened to be attached to familiar face. Upon entering the room, Sarah Kirke, Dominique's best friend, was now standing there and smiling down at Victoire. She had her usual pin straight, light brown hair pulled back, and her ever-ready smile plastered across her face. Sarah was a sweet girl, and probably the most patient person Victoire knew—which came as no surprise considering that Dominique was her best friend. Victoire had always considered Sarah to be Dominique's walking, talking conscience; one of the few people who could talk some sense into her sister and, in turn, deal with her stubborn, overbearing nature. At times, Victoire thought Sarah deserved the Order of Merlin for some of the things Dominique made her put up with.
"Hi, Sarah," Victoire said as she propped herself up on her elbows. "Nicki said you weren't coming over until later. She just ran off to the Quidditch store."
"Oh," Sarah said, her smile faltering. "I thought she had said she'd be home around three?"
"She probably did," Victoire said. "She's completely unorganized. Always forgetting things."
"She'll be back in like an hour," Louis said as he walked back over to pick up his bag of crisps off the sofa. "You can hang out until she does."
"Yeah," Victoire said. "It's not a big deal. We're being really boring, but you're more than welcome to be boring, too."
Sarah smiled. "Thanks."
"Hey, Sarah," Louis said as he headed towards the stairs. "You want to hear the new Nymph Chaser's single?"
"You have it?"
"When did you get it?" Victoire asked, sitting up fully straight for the first time since she'd lain down.
Louis shrugged. "I was bugging Dad for the box set of their albums, but he said I had to wait until Christmas for them." He turned and suddenly disappeared around the corner towards the stairs. "So, he somehow found the single and got it for me."
"Hey, Lou," Victoire yelled after him. "Why don't you bring it downstairs so we can all listen?"
Only the sounds of feet thumping up the stairs answered her. Victoire didn't hesitate to roll her eyes. She knew for a fact that he had heard her.
"I definitely want to hear it," Sarah said before she turned towards the stairs. "Are you coming up?"
Victoire sighed as she stared up at the ceiling. She knew she had to get up eventually. She had actually wanted to clean a bit before her parents got home from work in order to put them in good spirits when she asked if she could go over to Ted's tonight.
Still, she wasn't sure she wanted to get up quite yet. She was strangely comfortable all of the sudden.
"Nah, I don't think so," she said. "I'm good here on the floor."
Ted yawned at his desk as he signed off on yet another patient form. He checked the clock for the eighth time in the last fifteen minutes. How was it still only 3:30? Hadn't it been 3:30 ten minutes ago? Was this clock broken? He stared at it for a minute and watched as it ticked to 3:31. Okay, maybe it wasn't broken. Either way, four o'clock sure was taking its time in arriving.
"Hey, Lupin," said one of his co-researchers, a young guy called Durrin, from across the laboratory that they worked in. He was doting over a hot cauldron at the cook station and looking rather puzzled about something. "Rash Reduction is counter-clockwise strokes or clockwise?"
Ted glanced over his shoulder towards him. Durrin had been training since summer had started and was getting nearer and nearer to his completion. The only issue seemed to be that he had a slight problem remembering small, but very important details.
"Which do you think it is?" Ted asked.
"You would be correct," he said lazily, feeling too tired to be cheerful today. He'd been there since six that morning after having spent most of his day yesterday writing up reports on dragon pox test experiments.
Dragon pox. Bah. A part of him almost wished he could catch dragon pox just so he wouldn't have to study it any longer. He hated dragon pox. The only thing he hated more than dragon pox was that the Russians were coming to St. Mungo's on September 1st to listen to him and coworkers drone on and on about dragon pox information that they—the Russians—probably already knew. No only did they probably know it, but they also probably knew it months ago.
Worst yet, it was September 1st of all days. The day Victoire left to go back to school. Not August 31st; not September 2nd; not any of the days that would at least given him that extra day where he didn't have to worry about anything other than how much he wanted to lay around and nothing with her. No, they chose the 1st. Stupid, fucking dragon pox…
The door to the lab suddenly burst open in an unnecessarily loud manner. The source of the noise, another co-researcher of his called Nate, smiled cheerfully at everyone as he entered. With a swagger in his step, he walked over to his desk and threw his things down. "Afternoon, gentlemen."
"What's up, Nate?" asked Durrin. "You're in a good mood."
"I'm in a terrific mood," he said as he walked over to observe what Ted was doing. "Did you finish those pox test experiment reports yesterday?"
Ted stared at him. Nate being this cheerful never boded well for him, though he wasn't entirely sure why.
"I'll assume your silence means you did at least some," Nate said once he hadn't answer. "Hazel will be happy to hear it. She's been on my arse about mine since last week."
"I finished all of mine yesterday," Ted muttered. "She can't give me anymore shit."
Nate had made motion to turn back towards his desk, but stopped abruptly. "Wait? You finished all of them? Yesterday? There were about fifty of them."
"I wanted to get them all done so that I had tonight off," Ted said before checking the clock again. It was 3:37.
"You got big plans or something?"
He shrugged and began to pack up some of his things. If Nate was here, that meant he could leave early. He wasn't going to hesitate in taking advantage of that. "Sort of."
"With the mysterious girlfriend?"
Ted cracked a smile.
"Why won't you tell us anything about her?" Durrin asked before he pulled his ladle out of the cauldron to examine it.
"Oh, Durrin, you'll learn," Nate said without taking his eyes off Ted. "Lupin's an enigma wrapped in a puzzle. The man thrives on letting as little information as possible get out about him. He'd be perfect for the Department of Mysteries."
Ted continued to smile as he shuffled several papers around on his desk.
"Though," Nate added, "I can't understand why you're keeping the girlfriend a secret. Unless you're making her up."
Ted shrugged as if he didn't care what Nate thought…and that was mostly because he didn't care what Nate thought. "Maybe I am."
"I think you get off on being the mystery man," Nate mumbled, rolling his eyes as he turned away.
Ted laughed. The truth was that, granted, he and Victoire were trying to keep their relationship a secret from people, but that was only a small part of the reason that he didn't tell anyone he was working with specifically who she was. He really just didn't see it as being anyone's business. He liked his work life to be just that—his work life. He wanted it completely separate from his personal life; plus, it was sort of funny to watch Nate get annoyed for being so out of the loop.
"So, Romeo," Nate said from across the room. "What are the big plans?"
Ted turned around in his chair, unsure as to who Nate was speaking to. "Are you talking to me?"
"Who else would Romeo be?"
"What the hell is a romeo?" Ted asked, glancing at Durrin for a possible explanation. He shrugged as if he didn't have a clue either.
Nate stared at them both. "He's famous character from a Muggle—" He made a face. "Never mind. I was taking the piss about you having big romantic plans."
"I don't really have big plans," Ted said. "I haven't really gotten to spend a lot of time with her lately because of all the ruddy pox shit piling up," he gestured to the stack of papers on his desk, "so I'm just going to take advantage of the chance to see her." He looked at the clock. "Speaking of which, I'm going home. You're here early."
"Yeah, go get yourself cleaned up for your lady friend," Nate said, looking him up and down. "That is, if she really exists."
"Even if she doesn't," Ted said. "I'm still going home." He grabbed his bag and slung it over his shoulder. "See you tomorrow."
Both Nate and Durrin threw lazy waves in Ted's direction before he headed straight to the door and out into the corridor. He didn't bother with the lifts; instead he went straight to the stairwell and down the stairs so he could Apparate back to his flat.
After a quick pop, followed by seconds of transportation time between the hospital and his flat, his front door appeared in front of him and he let himself inside. As he entered, he gave his flat an immediate once over. It wasn't clean, but it wasn't messy either; it could definitely use a few minutes of tidying up.
He turned and let his eyes meet his bedroom, where through the open door his comfy looking unmade bed sat.
Or he could sleep…
Clean or sleep? That was the question. He needed to do both, but which should he do first? Which needed to be done more?
He inspected his living room again. He only really needed to pick up after the mess he'd made writing reports the day before. That wouldn't take very long if he just sucked it up and got it over with.
He glanced at his bed. He really didn't want to be exhausted when Victoire came over. It was almost unfair how, for the last week, he'd been practically comatose every time they had seen each other.
He tossed his bag on the ground and headed towards his room. Piss it. The place wasn't really that messy. He could clean later.
"Stop it, Louis!" said Dominique's voice from just outside the open kitchen window.
Victoire looked up from the sink, where she was currently charming a sponge to scrub the sink's basin. Outside, on the side of the house where Dominique and Sarah were sitting, she could just make out her brother standing next to the girls. Whatever he was doing, it was annoying Dominique.
A moment later, the door to the kitchen opened and slammed shut. Dominique had entered, the front of her shirt soaking wet and an empty water glass in her hand. Victoire watched as her sister stomped over to where she was standing at the sink and forcibly thrust her glass under the tap.
"Why are you all wet?" Victoire asked.
"Louis's being stupid," she said. "He claimed he accidentally knocked my glass over, but I must have told him ten times that if he kept messing about, it was going to spill. Sure enough…" She gestured to her shirt.
Victoire cast another glance outside. Louis was now sitting and talking to Sarah, calmly as could be. Whatever he was saying, she found it rather funny.
"Why are you cleaning the sink?" Dominique asked.
"Mum had mentioned that she wanted it cleaned, so I thought I might as well do it."
Dominique's eyebrow rose. "You thought you might as well do it?"
"Wait, I know why you're cleaning," she said as though something had dawned on her."You're trying to get on Mum and Dad's good side so when you ask them to go over to Ted's for the fiftieth time this week—"
"That's an exaggeration…"
"—they'll say yes because you've been such a good little helper."
Victoire gave her a hasty look before glancing up to see if anyone had heard her. "It's not like I have anything better to do."
"The whole kitchen looks cleaner," Dominique said as she ran a finger along the counter, as if inspecting for dust or grime. "Did you clean the whole thing?"
"I really had nothing better to do."
Dominique laughed. "We could have this whole house spotless at this rate!" She leaned lazily against the counter and stared out the window. "You know, my room needs a good cleaning."
"Why would I clean your room?"
"Why should I keep your secret?"
Victoire made a face. "Because one day, you may have a secret worth keeping, or you'll need my help with something. You'd hate to have this all come back to bite you in the arse, wouldn't you?"
"Eh," she shrugged, "I can't see myself ever being stupid enough to keep my boyfriend from Mum and Dad."
"You'd have to find a boy to put up with you first," Victoire said as she shut the water off and picked up a nearby dish towel.
"Now that was just cold," Dominique said with a small smile. "Plus, you've seen the boys we go to school with." She shook her head. "Slim pickings. Sarah and I were just talking about that earlier. Speaking of which, I should get back out there before Louis drives her mad."
Victoire glanced back out the window once more where Sarah and Louis were still talking; both looking friendly. "She doesn't look as if she needs rescuing."
"It's Louis," she said, walking towards the side door. "Anyone in his presence needs rescuing."
Victoire thought she knew a few people that might disagree with that considering her brother's ever growing popularity, but she let Dominique think whatever she wanted as the door clicked shut behind her. As soon as she was gone, the sound of another door opening and shutting echoed in from another part of the house.
She turned on the spot, throwing her dish towel down and checking to make sure everything was where it needed to be. Without a moment to spare, she plastered on a grin as both her mother and her father entered looking tired, but happy. They seemed like they were in good moods. That was always a good sign.
"'ello, sweet'eart," said her mother as she walked into the kitchen first.
"Hi," Victoire said, still smiling expectantly at them both in the hopes that they would take notice of how clean and tidy everything looked.
Her father put his things down on the kitchen table and looked around. "Did you clean in here?"
Victoire nodded. "I heard Mum say she'd been meaning to clean the sink, so I thought I might as well." She shrugged. "Then I figured, 'why not just do the whole kitchen'?"
Her parents both stared at her.
She smiled. "I was bored."
Her father looked at her mother. "I never thought I'd see the day where she'd get that bored."
Her mother laughed as she went over and kissed her daughter's forehead. "Well, I very much appreciate zat. You did a lovely j'ob."
"It was no problem," Victoire said, watching her mother set about the kitchen in search of what she could make for dinner. "Plus," she hesitated, "I was sort of hoping I could go out tonight."
"Ahhh…" said her dad. "It all makes sense now."
"No," Victoire said quickly, "I didn't do it just because I wanted to…" She laughed. "You don't think that's why I cleaned the kitchen?"
"I think that's exactly why you cleaned the kitchen."
"I can't do anything nice without having an ulterior motive?"
He walked over and tousled her hair. "Motive or not, you're doing housework. I can't complain."
"You 'ave gone out every night zis week," her mum said as she pulled out several pots from a cupboard.
"That's not true," Victoire said, remembering that Ted had to work on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, so she hadn't bothered to go out. "And anyway, it's summer. I'm just taking advantage of the free time I get to spend with my friends while I still have it."
"Iz Jane still out of town?" her mother asked.
"So, who have you been spending all your time with?" asked her father once he sat down at the table. "Ted, again?" He laughed. "He must be sick of you."
Victoire shrugged and avoided her father's eyes.
"I don't care if you do," he said lazily. "Just be home by eleven."
"Eleven?" Victoire said in protest. "Dad, come on."
"Come on, what?"
She looked at him obviously. "Eleven? Don't you think I'm old enough to have my curfew extended a bit? It's been eleven since I was sixteen."
"I thought eleven was too late…"
"I'm just hanging out with Ted," she said, glancing down at her feet before settling her gaze on her father. This was probably not going to help matters once the truth of their relationship was actually revealed, but at the moment, she didn't want to think that far ahead. "We're not wandering the streets or getting into trouble."
He looked at his wife. "What do you think, Fleur?"
Victoire rounded on her mother and smiled sweetly at her. "Please, Mum?"
Her mother was quiet for a long moment, but ultimately sighed. "Eleven-zirty, but no later."
Victoire smiled brightly. She'd take it. "Thank you!" She went and quickly hugged her mother before dashing around the table to hug her father where he sat. "I'm going to go get ready." She turned and dashed towards the stairs.
"Victoire," her mother called after her.
She stopped and backtracked into the kitchen. "Yes?"
"You're skipping dinner?"
"Oh. I was just going to grab something with Ted. No big deal."
"How is he not sick of you?" her father laughed.
Victoire shrugged. She could think of a few reasons why, but she wasn't about to share any of them.
Ted blinked his eyes open and looked around. Feeling groggy and still quite sleepy, something had jarred him awake. He suddenly heard a knocking from somewhere and assumed that had to be what it what it was. Someone was knocking. He sat up and looked around, yawning widely. What time was it?
He stood up and reached for his shirt, which he quickly pulled over his head. There was another knock at the door and he lazily scratched his head before pulling himself up out of bed. With another yawn, he walked through his living room to answer the door; upon pulling it open, he was greeted by the site of Victoire casually leaning up against the side of the door frame, smiling up at him.
"Were you still sleeping?" she asked.
He smiled and leaned his head against the door frame. "Sort of. Is it six already?"
"Six-fifteen," she said, stepping forward as Ted stood back to let enter. "I gave you fifteen extra minutes."
"You didn't have to do that," he said, shutting the door behind her.
"I wouldn't have had I not had my curfew extended."
Her stared at her through groggy eyes, but slowly smiled. "Oh, yeah?"
"Don't get too excited. Eleven-thirty."
"Hey, I'll take what I can get."
"I said the same thing," she mumbled.
Without another word, Ted turned on the spot and walked straight back into his bedroom. He had hoped Victoire would take the hint and follow him, but found out a second later that this wasn't the case.
"Where are you going?" she asked.
He plopped on to the edge of his bed and yawned again before rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. "Come here."
She remained out of sight in the other room. "You're not going back to bed, are you?"
He laughed to himself. "Just come here."
He began stretching his arms out in front of him as she finally entered, but she immediately bypassed him where he sat. She had instead chosen to climb over the edge of his bed and plop herself down behind him, somewhere in the middle of the bed. When he glanced back at her, she was fluffing pillows behind her back.
"Comfy?" he asked.
She smiled and made a point of putting one of the pillows behind her head. "Now I am."
He glanced down at the empty space on the bed beside her. "If I lie back down, I don't think you're getting me back up."
She seemed to consider this. "Is that a bad thing?"
"Well," he smiled as little as he adjusted the way he was sitting so that he could lean in to kiss her, "that all depends."
"On?" she asked as she pulled back and glanced up at his messy bed head hair. She reached up and absently started trying to straighten it out.
"On whether we actually go out like I said we would."
She smiled and shrugged as she continued to sort through his hair. "We don't have to go out."
He rubbed his face and sighed. "Yes, we do."
"I don't care either way, Ted. I'm just happy you can fit me into your schedule."
"Don't say that," he said, frowning a little. "That makes me feel like a prat."
"You're not a prat," she said as she leaned forward and wrapped her arms around his neck. "I wouldn't be with you if you were a prat." She smiled and quickly kissed him. "I have standards."
He smirked, but looked away from her. He needed to wake up and stop being lazy. He and Victoire had been together for over two weeks now and they had yet to do anything outside of these walls. She would come over; they would hang out; they would fool around; they would nap; she would even keep him company while he begrudgingly tried to get some last minute reports done for work, but they hadn't done anything. He'd never even gotten to take her on a real date yet, which was pretty embarrassing considering it'd been two weeks. Sure, he'd have plenty of time to take her out and be a proper boyfriend after the first of September, but of course…
"We're doing something tonight," he said matter-of-factly. "Just give me a few minutes to wake up."
She learned further back against his pillow and stared at him. "Honestly, Ted, it's not a big deal. I mean, what can we do? We can't go walking around Diagon Alley holding hands or kissing because the chance of someone from Gringotts, who knows me and my parents, sees me snogging some boy with blue hair, only to turn around to tell them."
"Keeping this a secret sucks."
"Keeping this a secret is why I'm sitting in your bed right now and able to do this," she leaned forward and kissed him, "instead of you and I sitting in my living room on opposite sofas while my mum walks in every five minutes to make sure we've both got our feet on the ground."
He laughed. "Your mum cannot be that bad."
"Oh, just you wait."
"I just don't want to end up dead," Ted said with a lazy smile before he stood and went to his wardrobe. "That's all I ask. It's always the bloke that ends up in the real trouble. Like, they'll think I'm corrupting you and making you lie to them."
She smiled. "You are corrupting me."
He turned away from his wardrobe and shot her a very particular smile. "But I'm not making you lie to them." He turned back and pulled out a shirt. "And don't act like you don't like being corrupted."
He heard her laugh as he disappeared towards the loo to wash his face and change his clothes. With a quick glance in the mirror, he watched as his hair changed from the mousy brown color he had to wear for work to the blue color he much preferred. He began running his hands through it in attempt to straighten himself out, all while trying to think of where the two of them could go out to where they wouldn't run into anyone who may pose a potential threat to their secret. The wizarding world was far smaller than it appeared to be when he really thought about it. They could go out into Muggle London—
A sudden idea struck him. That was it. That was perfect.
He poked his head back out into his room. "Okay," he said. "I have an idea. Are you hungry?"
He smiled. "All right, I'm going to take you some place really special."
Victoire stared at him before glancing down at her own clothes and then back at him. Both were dressed casually and, knowing Victoire, he knew that he mind had immediately gone to a place where she wondered if she was dressed properly for whatever it was that he had in mind.
"You're over dressed, if anything," he said. "Trust me. We're going to go and pretend to be Muggles."
"Are we?" she asked curiously.
"This place is really special," he said with a smile. "Just bear with me."