So Take Everything, Take It All From Me
(Because All I Want Is You)
"Trace lines around my heart
Steal the only breath from my lung."
Strangled By The Thought – The New Amsterdams
Here's the truth about Lily Luna Potter, in Teddy's opinion – the girl is a thief.
She takes his things - his clothes, his books, his keys, his heart.
His favourite shirt has gone missing; his scarves vanish with a blink of an eye, and don't even get him started on his lost Shakespeare collection.
She's the kind of thief that earns your trust only to break into your house and steal from right under your nose so quickly you barely have the time to realize it.
She takes things from you without so much as batting an eye, and she never ever returns them, doesn't even apologize for it, and doesn't even look back.
She takes his heart and place it under her sleeve without thinking twice, and Teddy doesn't know whether to pray it remains there, safeguarded (even thought it cannot) or that she doesn't break it (but she's always so careless with the things she takes that he cannot help but wonder).
And the worst part about Lily's persistent little habit?
Is that, even though Teddy should know better, he still invites her back into his home.
"This can work," she argues, always so stubborn. "We can make it work."
It cannot, and he's certain of it. This, them, could only end in disaster.
"Eleven years, Lily." He sounds old. He sounds tired. He sounds scared. He's a little bit (a lot) of those things, and she's neither of them. "That's a lifetime."
She's shaking, head to toe, her eyes red, her face white.
"Don't you believe?" And she rests her trembling hands on his gray sweater, right above the place where his heart beats. "Doesn't everything in you scream when I'm not touching you? Because that's how it feels for me, Teddy."
He shakes his head but fails to avoid the weight of her stare, the way those dark brown eyes keep drawing him in.
He can't shake them off.
(He never could)
"But when you do touch me," she continues, and somehow, those full, heart-shaped lips are inches away from his – and how did they even get there? Did he really care anyway? "When you put your hands on me, Teddy... My whole body sings."
"I'm sorry," he pleads, but Victoire won't have it. She looks at him like he's filth, like he's something that ought to be living inside a garbage can somewhere, and Teddy has never felt so small in his entire life.
He's tearing down their seven years together, their promises and their plans, the fairytale ending they were supposed to have. All bets are off now, and she resents him for that, resents him from choosing to walk away when he should've stayed, when he was meant to marry her and made her happy.
But he can't – he can't lie and deceive and pretend, not anymore.
How is he supposed to give Victoire anything when there's nothing left to give? When everything that was important and earnest and true was stolen by the seventeen years-old girl with long, freckled legs and the loveliest smile he'd ever seen?
Teddy is not a liar, he could never lie, and he's not about to start doing it now.
"Vick, I'm so sorry," he yells while she breaks things – a mug filled with chamomile tea, a picture of them together, happy and in love. "I know there's nothing I can do to make this easier, but I –"
"Did you ever love me, Ted?" She refocuses her whole attention to him again, and suddenly he feels self-conscious under her unflinching stare.
"No, tell me." There's a hint of tears in her eyes, but he knows her, knows that she's got too much pride for that, know that she'll never shed any of them until he's no longer there to watch. "Tell me what I meant to you. Were you with me just because you couldn't have her, not yet? Were you only biding your time until she was of age? Tell me, Teddy," and it's the use of his nickname, the one she hadn't used for what it seems like ages, that does it.
"It wasn't like that for me, Victoire." He moves closer, wanting to hold her, to touch any part of her, because Merlin helps him, he misses her already. But she steps away from him, shaking her head and holding her hands in front of her personal space, and stops dead of his tracks. "I loved you, and I still do, Vick."
"Then why?" He moves even closer to her now, and she offers no resistance this time. He cups her face with one hand and interlaces their fingers with the other, knowing that this is the last time he'll get to do this. "If you love me, then why are you ending it? Why are you choosing her when you already have me?"
"Because..." Teddy has no idea how to explain it, there are so many things he could say, but in the end, it doesn't matter. He could make lists, write novels about it, but it still wouldn't change anything. Nothing will make this hurt less, and he can only hope that one day Victoire, his best friend, might forgive him.
(He'll miss her like crazy)
"Because she gave me no choice."
"I'm leaving," she announces one day while they're eating Teddy's overcooked eggs and burnt toast.
"Where are you going?" He asks, so oblivious. So blind. "I thought you had Thursdays off."
"I'm leaving you," she clarifies, and he chokes on his chamomile tea.
It's not dignified, he realizes, but once again, endings never are.
She's already packed her stuff; her suitcases had mysteriously appeared by their front door, obnoxious lime-green. He'd never liked the colour, could barely stand the sight of it, but now he had a valid reason to loathe them.
She kisses his cheek in a gesture that passes off as goodbye, and then she's gone.
He spends the next couple of days cleaning their apartment, cataloguing all the things that disappeared right around the same time Lily did.
All his blue socks.
A bottle of Firewhiskey.
Most of his potions ingredients.
Three chocolate frogs.
His ability to sleep.
While he's searching and organizing and rearing his life, he also notices a pattern he hadn't been able to identify before.
Lily takes things, yes, but she never leaves anything behind.
Well, anything except him.
(And that's why he waits for her to come back)
AN: Teddy and Lily just won't leave me alone, let me tell you. There's no timeline here, as you may have noticed, and it's unbeta-ed as well. Well, it sucks, but if you tead, please review, okay? (No need to be brutal, thought). I hope you liked this story (and with September comes a new next-gen and a r/hr story, as well as updates on my currents ones on hold). Cheers!