Victoire Weasley was situated near the edge of the ocean's waters, her silhouette still and motionless, on the shoreline she'd frequently visited in her twenty-three years. However, her eyes weren't set on the black, rolling waters of the ocean in front of her, nor the brightly lit full moon above set on a back drop of glistening stars, millions of light years away. No, instead, her deep blue eyes were locked on the small object she cradled delicately in her hands – an old, golden pocket watch with intricately drawn roman numerals and hands that hadn't ticked in a few years short of a decade. A breeze stirred and another wave crashed, the water not quite rising far enough in the sand to reach her bare feet. She shivered unconsciously, only dimly noticing all of these things, her thoughts focused solely on recalling the past. An eerie sense of déjà vu passed over her, reminding her once again that she'd stood in the exact spot seven years ago. And every year since.
Seven years. That was how long it had been since Victoire had last seen, or heard, from Teddy Lupin. Seven long years since she'd last seen the man she'd known and loved her whole life, whom she'd always thought she'd know and love forever. Seven years since she'd laid eyes on him, since she'd seen his wolfish grin, heard his loud and booming laugh that seemed to fill her up with happiness, and seven years since he'd scooped her up and placed sweet, light kisses on her lips. Seven years since he'd told her he loved her for the last time.
And to her it felt like an eternity.
She remembered everything about that day, the day she'd said goodbye to him, vividly. Every tiny, unimportant, minuscule detail about it was seared into her memory. The way the clouds covered the stars in the night sky in warning of rain, what she was wearing, the exact location of the small hole on the hem of his shirt, and the way his hands were pushed deep into the pockets of his jeans. She recalled his cinnamon smell, the sound of his voice, and the way his eyes wouldn't meet hers. Absolutely everything. She'd burned everything about that last, final day into her memory, making sure she'd never forget anything about him. She'd forced herself to, fueled by the terror of forgetting. She clung to any detail for dear life, tortured by the idea of forgetting a single thing. The memory was all she had left of him. That and the pocket watch.
She knew the exact time that he'd disappeared from her life, she had it pinpointed down to the very second. She knew because she had watched through blurred vision as the pocket watch ticked for ten seconds, precisely, before she'd stopped the watch all together, ceasing the ticking of the watch and turning it immobile. The way it had stayed since then. She'd stopped the clock with a simple spell, telling herself that all the time he would be gone wouldn't count. No second without him counted in her mind's eye.
At the time, stopping the ticking of the watch was a sudden idea and she had thought herself quite clever and romantic for thinking it up. No one knew, specifically, why Victoire kept Teddy's pocket watch from running, though they all had a pretty good idea. They knew not to mention it, for her sake, and knew well enough that she wouldn't answer them even if she was asked. They were all too terrified of breaking her any further than she already was. Victoire was glad she'd gotten the notion all those years ago. Knowing the exact time he'd vanished from her life seemed of the utmost importance.
Though Victoire could draw up every detail of her life from childhood to sixteen, she had a great deal of trouble recollecting anything from then on up. Her memories consisted of very little that stood out to her, though so much had happened in the past years. She could name certain big events that had occurred, like her graduating from Hogwarts, starting her first job at the Ministry of Magic and the various other jobs she'd had since then, the wedding of her cousin Lucy, and the birth of her sixteen year old cousin's baby - Rose's baby. She could vaguely recall the first year of Teddy's absence, and the point where she had found out he was dead. She remembered her father and her Uncle Harry sitting her down at the kitchen table and breaking the news to her with grave faces, but she remembered it much like you remember a nightmare after waking up in the morning.
The exact moment, the anniversary of when she'd last seen him, had occurred a little over half an hour ago, but she remained frozen, her eyes locked on the last physical bit of Teddy she had left. She was unable to will herself to move, caught up in her memories and a torrent of raw emotion that threatened to break apart any shred of self-control she had left. This was her tradition, her ritual she'd kept up with since he'd gone.
Victoire inhaled deeply, catching the scent of salty ocean air mixed with her flowery perfume. She dropped the watch out of her hands, letting it swing back against her chest from the matching golden chain it was placed on. Her hands shook slightly as she tossed her head up towards the night sky, her eyes on the illuminated sky without really seeing it.
A rush of recollection washed over her, the memory paralyzing her and playing in her head like a movie – all without warning. Falling asleep in the sand at dawn while reading, Teddy waking her up, the way he wouldn't look at her, his telling her that he had to leave for an Auror mission and that he'd be gone for months, him giving her his father's pocket watch – his most prized possession, telling her he loved her, and finally giving her one last bittersweet kiss before disapparating away. He had never returned, breaking his promise to her that he would come back.
Victoire pulled herself from the memory, her eyes misty as she kept the picture of him in her mind. His turquoise hair, liquid silver eyes, wrinkled robes, and slightly tanned skin. She imagined how his arms had felt around her, the way they just seemed to fit and how incredibly at home she felt there. Her lips tingled as she imagined his warm, soft lips pressing a kiss there. She thought she could almost feel him. The whole memory made her weak to her knees and a flood of emotions took hold of her. The first tear left her eye, trailing down her cheek and leaving a wet stain on her ivory skin.
What would life be like if he was still alive? She asked herself silently, knowing the answer. She'd almost certainly be married to him by now, she'd be blissfully happy, and she might have been the one to give Molly Weasley her first great-grandchild, not Rose. The thought made more tears spill over, faster. She'd always wanted children, ever since she was little and use to make Teddy and her siblings play house with her – her being the doting mother, Teddy being the affectionate father, and Louis or Dominique being their bratty and crying babies prone to temper tantrums. Now she was sure she'd never have a family of her own. She had no family really, without Teddy, any way. And she had found no guy that she could feel even a fraction of what she felt for Teddy, the idea of anyone else was laughable. She'd given her heart to Teddy long ago and he'd taken it with him to the grave.
The truth was, heartbreak was much more welcoming than acceptance. She'd gotten a taste of forever, a taste of that magical, mythical feelings that plagued everyone. And for awhile, she had the entire world, and an infinite love that had scared her, scared him, and which had been so blunt, so real that it had shocked all those who had witnessed its greatness. It was enough to ruin all other worldly things for her, rendering her dumbstruck, staggering, and utterly heartbroken as she watched the most beautiful thing in the universe crumble.
Her breathing was shaky as she clutched her hands around her bare arms, nails digging into her skin as she fell onto her knees. Her petite frame shook with sobs she kept down, pools of tears spilling over her eyes and running down her cheeks. She squeezed her eyes shut to try and contain them, but it was useless. The slight blonde cursed herself inwardly, hating that she was being so weak. She'd promised herself she'd keep in the tears - a stupid promise, bound to be broken, she realized now. Recalling anything about him evoked this emotion.
She tried to picture what he would look like now, if he was still alive, but couldn't. Would he still have turquoise hair and a crooked nose or would he have changed his hair to its natural mousy brown shade? Would he still wear old t-shirts of muggle bands and faded jeans that he'd cover up with a crisp black robe whenever he left for his job? Would he still be a fan of the Chudley Cannons or would he have been so disgusted by their performance at the last Quidditch World Cup, like her Uncle Ron, that he would instead root for someone else? Would he still wear that dragons tooth around his neck that Uncle Charlie had given him for his thirteenth birthday? She didn't even know if he would have still kept his father's pocket watch in the front pocket of his robes. And would he have let her keep the watch if he'd ever come back? She wasn't sure.
Why him? The question was her mantra, she small thought in her head that always popped up when she least expected it. The question alone made her pain absolute, caught forever in a maelstrom of emotions that constantly pulled the once whole, once complete girl into her own labyrinth.
It was a cruel twist of fate that boy meant everything to her and who she had known like back of hand was taken from her. That a boy so perfect and so full of potential could possibly have died so early, without him getting to be able to prove himself to the world or really getting to experience life. It was a fate that his parents had shared, too, and Victoire. The life that had once thrilled her, the passion and youth that had once graced dazzling grins onto her lips had been severed - leaving only a remnant of an individual once filled with love. Yet another cruel casualty. However, it was a tragedy above all others that a love like theeres could be cut so short so abruptly.
Victoire had loved him passionately, boundlessly, and with every fiber of her being. She glowed when he was around her, beamed when he said her name, and expressed a dizzying enthusiasm whenever they were together. She was surprised, really, by how fast she fell so in love with him and by how quickly they went from the very best of best friends to a couple very much in love. They were only together, officially, for a few months before he disappeared, but it seemed like so much longer. Like decades. Then again, he'd always been hers.
They'd known each other, quite literally, their entire existence. They were inseparable ever since they were small children, constantly together. Little Victoire with her wild imagination and knack for mischief and young Teddy, two years her senior, bold, adventurous, and the only child willing to go along with her devious plots. They'd been partners in crime as children, and it was uncommon to see one without the other. They played in the forest by the Burrow, explored the sea caves near Shell Cottage while pretending to be pirates looking for buried treasure, pushed each other into mud puddles, and comforted one another when Victoire scraped her knee or Teddy missed his parents. The duo were as close as brother and sister; he looked at her as his little sister he never had and she idolized him like she would an older brother. And what started as deep rooted friendship, bloomed into pure love.
It was inevitable that the two would fall in love, no one questioned it. Even Bill Weasley couldn't deny that the two seemed destined to eventually fall in love. The thing about destiny, Bill had realized all too late, was that it was also unforgiving. The Weasley family, along with the Potters, thought they had realized quite soon in the lives of the two children what life had set in front of them, ignorant of the real destiny that was to meet them. And surely a teenage Teddy, filled up with the frightening sensation of falling in love, surely must have felt when he kissed his Victoire at her fifteenth birthday party for the first time, that he was so near complete that he could feel the breath death, cold on him. Thus began the relationship and sparked the match that set the fire. A fire that consumed the two.
Victoire had so much going for her before his death. She was lively, ambitious, clever, daring, witty, and strikingly beautiful. She cared about everyone, was very artistic and creative, and had a vibrant air about her, a constant flare in her personality that caught people's attention. A smile constantly occupied her face and she was, by far, the most cheerful girl of her age. Her personality altered drastically after his initial disappearance, even more so after his funeral. She'd been a girl so intoxicating, so filled up with joy, she could do absolutely anything. And all anyone could think about, when she was around, was the dizzying poetry she inspired on their tongues and the warm feeling they felt when she would bless them with her smile, or the twinkling sound of her laughter. But no longer did she have a cheerful air to her manner or a passion for life. On the inside she was just numb, though she feigned happiness for her family's benefit. The façade was easily seen through, though, and a chorus of 'Poor Victoire's were constantly murmured in whispers throughout her large family's separate household every time the previously animated girl was mentioned.
She sniffed, rocking herself back and forth as her sobs subsided. With the back of her hand she rubbed her watery eyes, wiping away the remnants of her tears. Cruel, she thought to herself repeatedly, Life is cruel. Unfair. The wind whipped her hair into her eyes, causing her long tresses of hair to flail in the wind before falling limply at her shoulders. She took in slow breathes, trying to even her shaky breathing. Finally, she forced most of the frenzy of emotions down until she was able to think clearly.
She told herself coaxing things, pointless things, to try and soothe herself. Telling herself that it wasn't so bad, not as bad as it had been, that nothing was as bad as it had been at first. But even as she thought that, she wasn't sure it was entirely true. Being there, in the exact spot she'd stood seven years ago with him, was new shock of pain. It was stinging, lasting, and made her chest feel heavy as if a dead weight was set on it. It was a suffering even she was surprised by, marveling at how after so long it could still hurt so much.
"It still hurts." she whispered to herself, her voice small and fragile. Much like how she felt. She tightened her arms around her legs before slowly dropping them, stretching her long legs out in front of her with an inaudible sigh. Her eyes focused on her hands, which she folded in her lap, dully noting that the mauve colored nail polish on her left pinky was chipped. When will I just get over it, over his death? When will I move on with my life? Her frown deepened, her brow creasing as she wrapped her arms around her middle, hugging herself and asked herself another question, When will I be happy again?A forceful, resolute voice in her mind answered for her, Never.
To her, nothing seemed bright anymore, everything was dull and lack luster. The world ceased to fascinate her, or to hold her. Everything had lost its shine and her eyes where no longer wide and full of life, taking in everything. She knew how much she'd changed, she'd frequently attempted to regain any normalcy to her personality. She'd tried dating other guys even, more than once, with disastrous results. But she really had tried. Or so she told herself. She'd traveled and explored exotic places, just like she'd always said she'd do. Although she had found her trip around the world interesting, it failed to rejuvenate her or provide any real pleasure. Nothing revived her from her state, nothing turned her back into her vivacious younger self.
Sometimes, a small part of her sometimes woke from a comatose sleep, demanding that she refuse to give up on life, even when she didn't feeling like living. Demanding of her impossible tasks, mundane tasks, demanding extraordinary feats she no longer had the energy to complete. Like waking up in the morning with a smile, or listening to the soft lull of the ocean calling her home, or the silly pleasure of singing a song to no one but yourself.
And in reality, she was breathing and functioning, a human being with a pulse and a soul. But in all the ways that mattered, she was just as dead as Teddy.
AN:/ This is a re-do of an old story of mine. 3 Just a one-shot. Hope you liked it!