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See, when she was younger, she was living a fairytale. She was all sunshine and roses and bubbles and giggling with her sister and dancing in the garden and playing in the ocean. She had everything, absolutely everything—the loving family, the magical beauty, the fairytale prince, everything little girls dreamed of.
And she threw it all away.
And it felt awesome.
Beauxbatons is a pretty good school, as far as academics and students go.
As far as not having to live up to a legacy of war heroes goes, it's an amazing school.
She shines there, she really does. At home, she was sparkle girl. Here, she really, truly shines. She excels in her classes, she makes lots of friends, she goes on dates with cute, well-behaved French boys, and she doesn't have to deal with the noisy drama of her family back home.
And she doesn't miss them.
"Do you ever miss us?" Lily asks the summer before her second year, blinking heart-melting hazel eyes up at her.
Victoire presses a kiss to her temple. "All the time," she says lightly, ignoring Teddy's intense indigo gaze on her back.
"Then why did you go to Beauxbatons?"
"Yeah, why?" Teddy pipes up, soundly defeating James in their arm wrestling match so he can focus his attention on Victoire. He's fourteen now, taller than she remembers, and his voice is getting deeper, his hair constantly darker, and, to tell the truth, she does miss him. But she misses her turquoise-haired best friend more than this dark-haired doppelganger.
She forces an airy laugh. "Because I like France, is all."
"Oh, really?" Teddy asks, suddenly right behind her. Lily looks from him to Victoire twice before wisely running away towards Lucy. "Better than Britain?"
Better than me?
Victoire takes a deep breath and steps away from him. "Maybe," she says because she can't say 'yes', but she can't say 'no', either, because neither is true.
His irises turn stormy grey, his true eye color. "Or maybe you just like rebelling," he challenges, walking forward.
She takes another step back and finds herself pressed up against the shed and she wants to cry because, hello, she's twelve and she shouldn't have to deal with this! She can't always be sparkle girl, you know. She needs a break, and he refuses to give it to her and it's not fair.
"What's your point?" she whispers, her breath escaping her in a gasp when he leans closer.
"My point is that you're lying to yourself, Victoire," Teddy says, and she bites her lip because he's nevereverever called her Victoire. It's always Torie. Always. What happened? "You're running away. And I'm sick of it."
She pushes with all her strength, but he only stumbles backwards a few feet. "I don't care what you think," she says through the tears gathering in her blue eyes (the color of the sea, like her father, and not of crystals, like her mother) and the lump in her throat and the beatbeatbeat of her heart. And then she runs away to her room, leaving Teddy standing there with leftover sparkles that shimmer and glitter and shed from her mask.
And, all right, maybe she is running. But she's a little girl. She's allowed to do that, right?
The summer after she turns fourteen, she picks up her Uncle Charlie's old guitar that he kept stashed in her house and begins to strum it.
Why? She's not entirely sure. She needed a hobby and it needed a player. Maybe they needed each other.
Maybe she just liked his cool, golden guitar pick engraved with a silver dragon. Who knows?
Still, she picks it up and begins strumming and suddenly it's as if she's in a whole other world, lost in the (not so musical) notes and the rhythm of the guitar strings and the cool, comforting feel of Charlie's dragon guitar pick in her fingers. It's less sparkle and more crystalclearglow and it's the most amazing thing she's ever experienced.
And now she knows how Dominique feels when she stargazes.
She Floo-calls Charlie and asks him to come over and help her and in less than five minutes he's tumbling into her living room, his brown eyes (and she's always liked brown eyes, perhaps because everyone in her immediate family is all ocean and sky and sapphire and blueblue glamour and brown's just so warm and homey, like sweet cinnamon or melted chocolate) alight with excitement.
"Bill, you didn't tell me your girl was a guitar player!" he calls, delighted, to his surprised brother.
"I didn't know," her father says, eyeing her as she beams. "When did this start?"
Victoire shrugs. "Just this summer."
"You know what they say," Charlie winks. "Summer is the most magical time of the year."
"Who says that?" she asks curiously.
Bill snorts. "Nobody except your prat of an uncle, Vicka. Go on, just keep the noise down."
So, Charlie takes her outside by the ocean and teaches her how to play guitar and her notes become a lot more musical and she absolutely falls in love with the instrument. And maybe her mother disapproves because the piano is more classy and elegant and why can't she be more like sweet, stargazer Dominique or happy, Quidditch-playing Louis?
But she's Victoire so she's shining and glowing and guitar-playing and forget about sparkle.
She's not that little girl anymore.
She meets a boy in Beauxbatons—okay, she's met a lot of boys in Beauxbatons, but this one's special—with chocolate-brown curls and these bright green eyes that positively glow like her guitar and she gets a little lost in them, so she figures it's love.
"You are tres belle, Victoire," says Etienne on their first date as he hesitantly takes her hand and attempts to speak English.
She laughs because he's cute (and not much more than that, really). "Merci," she says, batting her eyelashes and letting her Veela charm make her radiant, just once, because she's never let it do so before. Etienne looks momentarily dazed and she decides not to do that again.
She doesn't want dazed. She wants love.
"Who's the boy?" asks Molly that summer, giggling over a letter from Etienne that she's stolen from her cousin. Across the backyard, Teddy looks over at them and his hair turns a dark green.
"His name is Etienne," Victoire answers primly, snatching the letter away and stuffing it in her pocket. "And I'll thank you not to touch my belongings."
"Is he your boyfriend?" Lucy asks, bouncing up and down in girlish excitement.
Teddy clears his throat, but she doesn't let her gaze wander. "He is not," she answers. "He's just a friend. Relax, Luce."
Molly and Lucy seem disappointed, but Teddy seems relieved and in the end, she's pretty sure she's happy about that.
She still plays some love songs, though, just to appease her cousins (and maybe her heart, because it's fluttering around on confused wings, wondering if it prefers chocolate or turquoise).
(The answer is turquoise, but she's a little too scared to admit that).
When Teddy talks to her again, it's a summer after she learned how to play guitar and she's lounging against an apple tree in her backyard, strumming away when he approaches her.
"Hey," he says, making her stumble and hit the wrong note.
"Oh," she replies, looking up at him with confused blue eyes. "Hello, Teddy."
"Hi, Victoire," he answers and a bit of her heart breaks because he's still not calling her Torie and he hasn't in a long time. "How are you?"
"I'm fine," she says, not even bothering to smile at him as he sits down cross-legged next to her. "Why are you talking to me?"
His hair turns sunshine yellow and he grins at her. "Should I not be? We're best friends."
"We are?" she asks, bewildered. "You stopped talking to me."
"You ran away to France!" he protests. "Wait, I'm sorry," he adds quickly, touching her arm to stop her as she makes a move to get up and leave because she so does not want to have this conversation again. "I don't want to argue, Torie. I just—I thought I should tell you. I'm leaving."
Her stomach drops down like lead. "Why?" she asks, feeling like she's lost a bit of that sparkle she's kept floating around from her childhood (because, face it, Teddy is her childhood; he's every happy moment and every treasured memory).
"Because," he says, running a hand through his darkening hair. "I'm going on a tour of the world. It'll probably take a year, maybe two at most."
"Why are you telling me this?" she demands, feeling that Weasley-Veela temper spike. "You haven't talked to me in years! Why do you even care—?"
"I care about you!" he cries defensively. "I mean," he coughs, "you're still, um, important to me. You're…uh, well, you're Torie. I care about you."
Both his face and hair blush pink and she feels butterflies bubble up inside her. "Well, then, um, I'll miss you," she says awkwardly.
His eyes fade to grey. "I'll miss you, too."
He hugs her once, briefly, then walks away, and suddenly she doesn't feel like sparkling or glowing or even shining. All she really wants to do is cry.
When he returns, she's about to graduate.
"Hey, Torie," he greets lightly, almost carelessly, as he tumbles through the fireplace and into the sitting room where about half the graduates are pacing around. "How are you?"
"Magnifique," she says, then remembers who she's talking to and amends in English, "Um, I'm doing great. Hi, Teddy."
He studies her for a moment and she shifts under his gaze—it's grey, like it usually is around her—and wonders why, if she felt so lost with Etienne, does she feel so floaty now, looking at Teddy? It doesn't make sense (except it does).
"Congratulations," he says, holding an orange rose in his hands, clearly meant as a gift though he makes no move to give it to her. "I…Can I ask you a question?"
"Yes, of course," she answers, feeling those old, dancing butterflies appear again. She smoothes down her blue dress and hopes he can't notice her anxiety. Except, well, he's Teddy, and so he knows her better than anyone, even with those years where they haven't talked, and he probably does notice.
"Why did you go to Beauxbatons? I mean, truly, why did you run away from us? From me?"
Her breath catches as he leans closer, his green-tea scent washing over her and making her dizzy. Against the backdrop of the French sky, all brightbright blue like her eyes and sparkleglow sunshine like his, he shines, just as much as she does.
And maybe that means something. Maybe it means that they match, that they're perfect.
"I just had to get away from everything," she whispers as he gently lifts the rose to brush the petals down the side of her face. "The legacy of being a Weasley, the fame of being Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour's daughter, the segregation of the Houses—"
"You were eleven," Teddy interrupts, sounding amused. "Those are good reasons, Torie, but what's the real one?"
"I wanted to rebel," she admits because Teddy has the uncanny ability to spot lies from a mile away and he can provoke honesty in even the sneakiest of Slytherins. "My whole life, Teddy, I'd been just a bubble of happiness. And I get bored quickly. I guess I got bored of perfection."
"Did you get bored of me?" he asks her.
"No," she whispers. "I thought you did."
"Never," he replies, and then suddenly, he's kissing her, the rose fluttering to the ground as he wraps his arms around her tight and kisses her like she's never been kissed before, and, oh, French boys cannot kiss half as well as he can.
She pulls apart, but only a little, so that her lips still brush and she can still taste the green tea on his lips. "Teddy—"
"You're some sort of rebel, Torie," he grins, brushing a stray strawberry-blond curl out of her face. "But you're my rebel, all right? So don't go gallivanting off with any French boys."
"Don't tell me what to do," she giggles. "Just shut up and kiss me."
So he does, and she's sparkle girl again, but she's also shining like she does in France and also glowing like she does when she plays guitar and he's somehow managed to tie that all up with a pretty bow and made her radiant without the help of her Veela charm.
She'll sparkle, glow, and shine for the rest of her life, but with him, she can just be.
Author's Notes: This is for Muffled Chimes, who requested a Teddy/Victoire fic with a rebel Victoire =) Sorry, I only managed to work in one of the prompts, but I hope you enjoyed this! And I hope the rest of you enjoyed it as well! This is a bit different from my usual works, but hopefully it's still pretty good.
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