a / n;; So here I am, intending to write a sappy TeddyLily piece (my one weakness as far as nextgen is concerned) and this falls out of my pen instead. Oh, well, I guess you just have to go with the flow sometimes. Feedback, darlings, would be much appreciated, especially considering I don't often read other people's interpretations of the nextgen characters, and I'd like to see how I compare. ;)

the ballad of boy blue

He isn't sure when it happens—when it stops being strawberry blonde and veela-charm and victoirevictoirevictoire and starts being stick limbs and red hair and ten years too young for him.

She's his godfather's daughter for Merlin's sake; they're practically siblings (except these thoughts are far too unwholesome to be brotherly love). You aren't supposed to picture your sister with her skirt shoved up and her hair a mess and your hands—

Oh god, Harry would kill him, and Ginny wouldn't be nearly so kind.

It's just—she signs her letters 'love' and settles her head on his shoulder and smiles ever so broadly when he screws up his eyes and rearranges his face—it's just, he's so horribly fixated, and whenever Victoire slips into his lap and snakes her arms around his waist, he can't help but glance past her.

She catches on eventually, Victoire, not Lily (he says his prayers at night to the tune of 'I hope she never finds out' because he values his life and he's certain it woiuld never be anything but fear for her and he can't bear the thought of those wide doe eyes).

'What's wrong, Teddy?" she asks, sticking out her lower lip and rubbing his shoulders like she must think is comforting but is really only distracting, really only makes him think of the clever fingers of her cousin.

"Nothing," he says, "everything is fine," but it comes out half false and she only just swallows it, but untruths are sugared up and sticky and catch halfway down her throat because it's not too long before she's asking again.

"Is there someone else?"

Teddy sighs and nods, says thinly, "something like that," and she packs her things and moves back home. James threatens to castrate him with a sneakoscope and the Weasleys stop flooing him and this is precisely what he deserves, except—

"Is it true? About you and Victoire, I mean?" red hair and bright eyes and sixteen-year-old intuition, "did you cheat on her?"

"Yes," he says because it's true, and "no" because he didn't really.

"Yes" because he's twenty-seven and in love with a sixteen-year-old girl, and "no" because he's never so much as touched her. "Yes" because he's thought about it, and "no" because her family would kill him.

"Yes" because it should have been Victoire. "No" because it can never be Lily.