Soldiers of Love

A HariPo oneshot

by mew-tsubaki

Note: The Harry Potter characters belong to J.K. Rowling, not to me. Most of the pairings here are Mew and Mor's Weird Pairings, which you may find in the M&MWP forum (see my profile for details). Check out and join the forum FUN! Read, review, and enjoy!

- ^-^3

What is love but a passing, flimsy, oft unattainable thing?

I've asked myself that from time to time, wondering what relationships are sturdy, like elder wood, and which ones are so easily breakable, like…like… Oh, damn, what's so fragile? Besides glass. Oh! I know! Those earrings Victoire got for her tenth birthday. They were made from really soft silver wire and were in the shape of unicorns, and I wanted them, and, well…they broke in a small tiff we had. But that doesn't matter. I've looked through family history and the past of those around us and I've come to see a pattern:

Love is a broomstick ride, uphill one minute and downhill the next.

Once upon a time, there was a voluptuous, enchanting barmaid by the name of Madam Rosmerta. She still owns the Three Broomsticks to this day. But, back in the day, no one knew about the times when she went outside into the light of the real world.

Back then, a distant relative of mine, Sirius Black, had bad blood with his younger brother, Regulus Arcturus Black. Quite a fancy, awe-inducing name, no? But he was anything but. Regulus was a tool of his parents' devices, and he really didn't have a hold of his own life. He was little more than a doll, and the only support he had was from his family's house-elf, Kreacher, and from his so-called "friends" who were pretty much all Death Eaters or Death Eaters-in-the-making.

He was shadow and couldn't ever be touched by the light. Or so he thought.

Towards the end of his Hogwarts life, Regulus grew increasingly desperate. He began clawing for the remains of a human life as his Dark wizard future encroached upon him. He was the youngest recruit the Dark Lord had ever taken on at that point, and he was sure to be the best lackey Voldemort had ever had. Regulus probably didn't know the words "fun" or "warmth" at the time.

Light, enter stage left.

According to the ever-lovely Rosmerta, she reached out to him because he was compelling. She'd never made a connection with a student before, but she was drawn to his character and inner strength, something which apparently he often joked was his "best bout of acting." It had been platonic at first, but—as all good love stories do—it changed, evolved into something beyond silly "I love yous" and "Me, toos" and the rest of that mawkish crap. Regulus found love with her; Rosmerta found love with him. It wasn't just an evolution. It was a revolution.

Then he decided he'd hinder the Dark Lord, make up for his past actions.

Rosmerta asserts that she understands his line of thinking, but she wishes he hadn't gone alone. If he hadn't… Maybe he would've survived.

Maybe Rosmerta wouldn't still be a barmaid.

But he did, and he at least kind of got somewhere… I mean, it was decades later when Uncle Ron destroyed the real Horcrux locket, but still. Regulus made a difference. He just made a difference twice in Ros' life—he'd gotten her to love…and he'd gotten her to feel despair.

You see, Regulus made it out of that notorious cave. He made it back to Hogsmeade. He made it to High Street. He…he made it to Rosmerta's arms. With his last breath, he told her he loved her.

Regulus died in Rosmerta's arms. Rosmerta has never loved another man since.

That is real love.

Too depressing? Okay, then I'll show you a case of fleeting attraction.

Before Regulus had registered as a big blip on Rosmerta's radar, Sirius had been experiencing funny feelings of his own. Feelings for his best mate. Feelings for—you guessed it—Remus John Lupin. And, yes, I mean the late wizard who was also Teddy's father.

Remus and Sirius… Sirius calls it a phase. It took a lot of heckling and cajoling to get the truth out of him, but he eventually told me. It goes like this:

When Sirius boarded that mahogany train when he was eleven, the first friend he made was James Potter (the original one, not to be confused with my equally mischievous cousin, James Sirius Potter). He and James just clicked. So when waif-like Remus Lupin entered their compartment…needless to say, Sirius was unimpressed.

But then they were all sorted into Gryffindor. That changes everything. Your Housemates are for life, mind you, and they become closer than even your siblings.

Ha. Those two became a whole lot closer than siblings.

So, yeah, the chemistry was there from the beginning and it remained, even after making friends with portly (and later, deceitful) Peter Pettigrew and forming the Marauders. Even after James, Sirius, and Peter discovered Remus was a werewolf. Even after innumerable relationships and bad break-ups on Sirius' part with damn near every witch in the school. Even after innumerable detentions from innumerable pranks played on innumerable students.

There was one "prank," however, that could never be tolerated.

It's no secret that Sirius Black hates Severus Snape. He always will. Snape may be dead, but Sirius will always hate him, even though Harry told Sirius about the truth behind Snape's actually heroic actions. Sirius is lucky to be alive; a tumble through the Veil and a rescue after the war when Uncle Harry and Aunt Hermione broke the Veil, and he's as good as new. And his mind is the same as it always was—he and Snape will never mesh.

He took it too far, though, when one year he was severely irritated by Snape. I tried asking Sirius why, but he doesn't even remember. All he knows is that he felt blind hatred for the greasy-haired teen.

Sirius hated Snape. Sirius knew Remus was a werewolf. Snape didn't know, but he had his suspicions.

Have you added two and two yet?

On this particular evening, Sirius taunted Snape and provoked him, prodding for information about Remus' nightly whereabouts. Sirius said he would show Snape the answer to all his questions, and, for some reason that we'll never know, Snape trusted Sirius enough to leave the castle on the night of the full moon.

Remus had transformed already and was rampaging as usual. Unlike usual, he was more aggravated that night. James and Peter could do little to contain him, and Sirius didn't seem to care much. He honestly thought that once Snape crossed paths with werewolf Remus, it would be a riot.

He almost cost Snape his life.

In the end it was James who saved Snape, something which Snape would forever begrudge him, as Snape had always loved Lily Evans, who later married James and had Harry, but you know that story. When Remus healed and returned to his sane mind, he tore into Sirius. James had done so already, but it meant something completely different coming from Remus.

Remus had always had a strong effect on Sirius. Part of it was because he was quiet or silent. Many times all he had to do was send Sirius a look—hurt or disappointed—and Sirius would strive to make things right. It was a non-magical kind of magic that only Remus could work on him, and it never bothered Sirius. It was how he later figured they loved each other.

But attempted murder does a lot to ruin a relationship.

After the "prank," Remus and Sirius remained mates. They always would. Friendship could never be broken between them. But any chance of a real, loving relationship between them disappeared with that night's daunting, shining Moon. I'm sure that Sirius still feels a tiny pang in his chest when he sees the full moon these days.

All right, so that was almost as depressing as the last. But my next example is anything but. I like to call their love…"valiant."

Enter William "Bill" Weasley and Fleur Delacour. No one could have ever predicted them. I doubt even that old loon Trelawney could have foreseen them. But happen they did.

The first time Fleur entered the picture, she was competing against Uncle Harry in the Triwizard Tournament. She was quite good with her magic, and she was and always has been most captivating. She was a wow-er in the event, and she completed her tasks gracefully…even if she didn't complete all of them.

A funny thing often crosses my mind when it comes to their history: Why did she fall for Bill and not for Charlie? I mean, Uncle Charlie has a lot going for him, and technically they met first. He was with the dragons for the tournament's first task. But I suppose poor Uncle Charlie just wasn't up to her standards.

So the tournament ended, and Fleur finished school, and…what would she do next? I don't think she ever really thought about it. One thing she knew was that she wanted to get a job here and improve her English. Good thing, too. Her accent is so bloody thick it's a miracle anyone can understand her. Bill manages to, but I think he used a spell or something to learn French so he can get what she says.

One thing led to another, and Fleur came to work at Gringotts. She interacted with Bill, and apparently he helped with her language skills, but we all know they were really dating. Both of them say it was an instant attraction…but that attraction didn't extend to all of the other Weasleys.

Seeing how Fleur meshes so easily with the family now, it's hard to consider how Grandmam Weasley and Aunt Ginny could've hated her so. Nowadays, anyone who looks at Fleur would think that she had always been a Weasley matriarch, somewhere deep down inside her…in her blood. Of course, as always, a war changes people.

Funny how Grandmam Weasley ever thought she had a foot to stand on when she proclaimed that Bill and Fleur were rushing in to things when they got engaged and were pretty much ready to tie the knot towards the beginning of the second war. Grandmam Weasley had rushed in to marriage, too, with Grampa Weasley, way back in the days of the first war. Hmm, would that be the pot calling the cauldron black, perhaps? Yeah, I thought so, too.

But what it all comes down to is that adjective I used earlier—"valiant." Most thought that Fleur was with Bill for his good looks. Hey, it was an observation. They're beautiful people, and beautiful people look great together. However, no one really saw them when they were together and deeply immersed in conversation or in each other. No one had really witnessed the electricity between them.

Oh, boy, though—sparks of another sort flew when Bill was marred by Greyback.

Most of the family thought Fleur would flutter away in the wind now that Bill was no longer good-looking. Which is bullshit. For two reasons. First, as Fleur so vehemently and pointedly stated, Fleur loved him for every other part of him besides his looks and—well, the woman did say she would be pretty enough for them both. My second point is that calling him ugly after the attack is ridiculous. Honestly. Go look at him. Those scars add character. I haven't once heard a witch say "ew" to him. All I see are scores of witches whose faces burn red and hearts pound in their chest, and you know what they say? "Is that the war hero, Bill Weasley?" Trust me, those scars are far from maiming.

Good thing, too. Because it was only a few months after that that Fleur and Bill married, and, one war and a few years later, Victoire was born, and everything just kept rolling in motion.

Oh, and if you didn't catch it by now, I haven't called them aunt and uncle. It's because I'm proud to call them Mum and Dad. Their love means the most to me, and, to this day, it's still as fresh as when they first met in that goblin bank.

So would you like to hear of a love story almost as juicy? One not riddled with clichés, as most people might think? All right, then, let me take you a few years back in my lifetime.

By this time, James Sirius Potter and his brother, Albus Severus, had finished Hogwarts. Lily had about one year to go, I think…yeah, I'm a bit crap with timelines, but so what? The point to demonstrate is that Aunt Ginny and Uncle Harry had weathered and survived a lot, and it was getting to that point where… Well, things weren't as fun anymore.

That was how it looked to the family. James told me different, though. "Oh, you know Dad," he'd said. "He was always so caught up in his work. As if he really had any time for his family." James had never—and probably never would—forgiven his father for all the times that he should've been home. Uncle Harry had been home to see only Al get his Hogwarts letter, you should know. That was how "caught up" he was with the Auror Office.

Here's where I'd like to remind you that Sirius is alive. I wasn't lying earlier when I said that Aunt Hermione and Uncle Harry had broken the Veil following the war. It had been a last-ditch attempt to rescue Sirius, and luckily that worked. Sirius popped out looking not a day past the age he'd been when he'd been pushed through the Veil by Bellatrix Lestrange's Stunning Spell. However, two years in the Veil had helped him to grow up, maturity-wise. Poor bloke…

Anyway, let me finish painting the picture for you: Uncle Harry's a dick, Aunt Ginny's fed up with a life that's grown up and is practically out of her hands, and Sirius is alive. Are you raising questions yet?

It's not as though Aunt Ginny had no feelings whatsoever for Sirius Black. Recall that back right before Sirius got lost to the Veil, when Uncle Harry had taken his friends to the Ministry to "save" Sirius, Aunt Ginny had told Harry that she cared for Sirius just as much as he did. Fact. No, really. They had made friends while stuck at the Burrow and Grimmauld Place while everyone else did stuff for the Order of the Phoenix. Ginny couldn't do anything then because she was so young. Sirius couldn't do anything then because he was an outlaw.

Perfect match, no?

But they didn't really get to know each other then. Contrary to popular belief, they weren't best mates since they were left behind. Friends, sure, but bosom buddies? Nope. It wasn't until after the Veil rescue when Ginny and the others could learn more about what made Sirius Black tick.

When Uncle Harry was younger, he lived with his awful Muggle relatives. After the war, he moved into Twelve Grimmauld Place. Once Sirius was rescued, both of them lived there—it was a promise fulfilled about five years after it'd been made.

After Aunt Ginny grew up and finished school and started playing Quidditch professionally, Uncle Harry had found time to get his feet on the ground. One thing led to another, yadda yadda, Ginny spent more and more at Grimmauld Place, blah blah, and then Ginny and Harry did what everyone expected and married and had kids and it all seemed like the perfect fairytale.

As James and Al and Lily grew up, Sirius played a helpful, babysitter role, and it supposedly helped Aunt Ginny and Uncle Harry find time to themselves. Not entirely true… I asked all three kids what role they saw Sirius as having played in their lives, and all of them answered the same way: "Our dad."

And no one's ever told Uncle Harry that little Lily Luna actually called Sirius "Daddy" first.

So back to the story. With almost all the kids out of school, Aunt Ginny faced more and more time to herself…and with Sirius. Truly, he'd been there for her all those years. They'd become real friends during this time, and, now both well into their adult lives, a mutual attraction that was more than platonic formed.

Nothing happened until Lily was out of school. Aunt Ginny felt confused and a little guilty about her feelings, and Sirius thought the kids could better handle things once they were, basically, adults. Sadly for him, he could've started really chasing Ginny earlier as James, Al, and Lils had long ago accepted him as their real father figure. But when Lily did finish Hogwarts, Sirius did his damnedest to make life fun and exciting for Ginny. Honestly, if Uncle Harry noticed, he didn't care. It was almost as though having a wife and family had been a phase for him, just as Remus had been a phase for Sirius (who, for the record, never liked any boy besides Remus, so finding love with a witch was normal for him, as he'd fallen for Remus' personality and not his gender).

It was last year when, after three years of quiet love, Ginny and Sirius told the family of their relationship. To which most of us laughed. Hey, most of us had guessed it already. Aunt Ginny's kids were the happiest I'd ever seen them, actually…

Uncle Harry was nowhere to be found. Aunt Hermione and Uncle Ron said he was holed up at his office. Go figure.

See how juicy it was? Told you so. The Boy-Who-Lived had outlived his stay. He was better as the best Auror of our lives than as a husband and father.

I'm sure one of these days we'll be legally calling Sirius "Uncle Sirius"—and I don't think even Grandmam and Grampa Weasley will object.

Now let me tell you about the "Ginrius" of my generation. There once was a little girl named Lily Luna Potter. She had two older brothers and a huge family made up of people who dearly loved her. Lily really had the world in her palm.

But one star was missing from her perfect sky.

Theodore Remus Lupin had grown up to be a strong boy. He was now a strong Auror, though not as absorbed in his work as his godfather, our Uncle Harry. Teddy hadn't let it affect him, the fact that his parents, Remus and Tonks, had died before he'd known them. Uncle Harry and his Grandma Andromeda had raised Teddy well. Teddy had always been a charmer.

He'd charmed the heart right out of Lily. Even at a young age, Lily had always known that Teddy was number one in her heart. When Lily wanted to be picked up, she called out for "Taddie." When she needed a playmate, she asked where Teddy was. When something made her sad, she cried on Teddy's shoulder. It was a sibling relationship, and yet it wasn't. There was something that…bonded these two together.

For a moment, it appeared as though the bond had been broken when Teddy dated my sister, Victoire. But they didn't last long. Teddy was a prince and Victoire was a fleeting fay. Passion united them, but it also broke them. They clashed much too often to work. They could never work things out. But one thing that Teddy worked out was that he needed a princess.

Lily had always been his princess, though.

When Lily was fifteen, she made her move on Teddy. She figured he needed to know of her real feelings by then, so she put herself out there, regardless of whether he returned her feelings. It was torture for her, while he recovered from the shock and mulled over the situation. But finally, in her last year of school, Teddy admitted he felt the same way, and they've been going strong ever since.

Oh, James and Al put Teddy through the ringer. They had to; Lily was their baby sister. But they approved of him. He was the only one of Lily's boyfriends they've ever approved of, and I hope for Teddy's sake that that doesn't change. Because when Lily tells Teddy and the others the surprise she and the last Lupin are expecting now, four years later, and Teddy has been too timid to put a ring on her finger…

Oh, yeah. The fireworks are going to be hilarious. I don't think even Sirius will be joking when he learns about his surrogate daughter's, ehm, "plumpness."

Funny. Aunt Ginny fell for a godfather. Lily fell for a godson… Won't it be funny, if Lily has a daughter? That girl's future is bound to be interesting.

So I think I'll sum up Lily and Teddy with one notion to stir your imagination—they were always soulmates. And I've never thought of anyone else in such a way, either.

There's a dark side to soulmates, though, something that skews such a definition. For those who enjoy a good tale of seizing what you want, you'll appreciate the story of one Daphne Greengrass and Lucius Malfoy.

How is this possible, you may ask? Wasn't Lucius Malfoy married to Narcissa Malfoy? Didn't they lead a perfect life, everything considered following the war?

Oh, how much you have to learn, my dearies.

As mentioned before, bad deeds really strain a relationship. Once they were cleared of charges following the second war, things became very tense in the Malfoy household. I recall Scorpius telling me once that his grandparents were like ice sculptures: beautiful to look at but cold to the touch. Even during Scor's parents, Draco and Astoria's, courtship, Lucius and Narcissa had played polite but never nice. But it was actually at Astoria and Draco's wedding where Lucius met the pretty Daphne.

Scorpius says his aunt was reluctant and cautious of his grandfather at first. It was like a game not of cat and mouse but of spider and fly. Lucius lured her in, intrigued by her smart mind and her dismissal of her presumed pureblood cares. Daphne also stood up to him. This wasn't to say that Narcissa didn't, but Daphne's character was so much more compelling and playful and…intimidating.

Lucius had his very first challenge.

With Lucius, he only had to throw around his family name to get whatever he wanted. It had always worked for him, and he'd come to depend on it continuing to work. But when Daphne Greengrass was not impressed by him, he had to learn how to catch a woman for real.

He had to become the gentleman had he always given the impression of being.

This was new territory, certainly. Not only did Lucius have to use half a brain, but he also had to develop the real, human emotions that had lain dormant, unused deep inside him. Did you know? Daphne was the one to get him—Lucius Malfoy!—to say those three little words: "I love you."

Who knew that a little wallflower witch could've brought a "great" wizard to his knees?

It's interesting, though… Lucius had never played with Daphne's heart. If anything, Scorpius said that Daphne had nearly toyed with Lucius', for she had dragged her feet so long before trusting him in the least bit.

Well, the fruit falls far from the tree, as Scorpius has no room to talk.

Scorpius isn't as innocent as he first comes off. When you take a look at his love life, you see that he's a bit of a mastermind. He can manage two hearts at once.

First it was Lorcan Scamander. Scor had had his eye on the twin for a long time. He liked Lorcan's mind and the haughtiness that surprisingly came along with it. He'd always appreciated blond locks similar to his, but Scorpius really liked the chase Lorc gave when Scorpius initially started after the Ravenclaw.

Tsk. Typical Slytherin.

What makes Scorpius even more of a typical Slytherin is that he went after not only Lorcan, but he even chased my cousin, Freddie! And poor Freddie fell head-over-heels for him. Merlin, it was pretty bad… Scorpius had once shown a little interest in him, and then Freddie had forever pined after the Malfoy. An even greater strain on things? Freddie and Lorcan are best mates…and they're both in love with the same wizard.

I'm not really sure what's running through Scor's mind or heart. I'd love to know. He has them both wrapped around his little finger, as much as Lorc would hate to admit it. I once tried asking Scor why he goes between the two, and he gave me a grim smile as he answered, "They have in them what I'm missing in me." So damn cryptic. I tried asking Lorc and Freddie why they wouldn't leave him; they know about the other's relationship with Scorpius, for Godric's sake. But both of them said—mysteriously—the same thing: "I can't just stop loving him because someone else does."

Oh, Fate…how you fuck with us so.

Well, let's move on to something a little less scandal-ridden. Like my cousin, Molly, and her office romance.

Molly is so uptight and concerned with the "right thing" and the rules. She was a bookworm, a bitch, and now she's a bloody good Obliviator. She had two failed attempts at romance—Theodore Nott and Zacharias Smith (of which the latter is currently engaged to one Parvati Patil)—before finding comfort and peace with Michael Corner, an old schoolmate of Uncle Harry, Aunt Hermione, and Uncle Ron's.

Molly had made friends with Nott and Corner at the Ministry. Nott worked as an Unspeakable, and Corner worked in the Office of Misinformation, which often dealt with creature cover-ups. The three had been inseparable to a certain degree. But things took a turn for the worse when she fancied Smith.

She went after him for a while, but Smith told her he couldn't be with her. His heart belonged to Parvati. This sent Molly running back into Nott's and Corner's arms, but more so Nott's. He tried being for her what Smith couldn't…but the old hurt was too much. The hurt that had appeared when she'd originally told Nott and Corner to stop being jealous of each other because she'd never choose between them. Well, she had. But, in Nott's book, it was too late for her to rectify things.

Aunt Hermione told me that Michael Corner had been a very stubborn, very proud boy when they were kids. Molly even confessed to me once that his stubbornness could be irritating.

What anyone had failed to realize, though, was that Michael was possible of great empathy and care. He had never let his feelings for Molly wane, and he was the only one who had remained by her side through the Smith and Nott fiascos. He knew how she felt, to love and not be loved…

After they had been together for a while, Molly said to me that she wished she could have been as smart about people as she was about books. Then she would've realized sooner just how rightly her hand fit in his.

Molly doesn't know it yet, but Michael just bought a lovely solitaire-cut opal before the big date they have tomorrow. Opals are Molly's favorite gem. I'm sure she's smart enough to know this real man from one of fiction.

Sweet… Very sweet. It's not to say that others aren't. But all this talk about my relatives getting together with our parents' and aunts' and uncles' former classmates brings to mind one relationship that screamed "scandal" for close to a decade.

By now you must've heard of Victoire Apolline Weasley. Who hasn't? Vic leaves her mark wherever she goes. Merlin knows she left her mark on Hogwarts.

Ha, that has a double-meaning, and I bet you didn't even notice.

But yes, she left her mark on Hogwarts. For a little bit (as mentioned earlier), Victoire dated Teddy, but that didn't last long. Part of the reason was because she just didn't work with him. The other part was that she had her eyes on one somewhat-available Herbology professor…

Neville Longbottom.

Okay, I know, I know, who the hell ever thought they'd be together? But let me tell you—Neville is no gangly, awkward teen. He's not a wizard who's as unsure of himself as he is sure the sky's blue. He is a beaten-down man who found companionship with a girl who happened to find love with him.

After the war, Neville did a stint as an Auror before teaching Herbology at Hogwarts. He married Hannah Abbott, the landlady of the Leaky Cauldron, and they had a son named Frank. All seemed well for the Longbottoms.

Except for the lack of love in the house.

Frankie was always loved. His parents cared about no one more. They just didn't care very much about each other. Neville tried to make it work, he really did, but Hannah didn't like the deflated feeling she got whenever she was around him. So she left Neville for an old Housemate, and Neville got Frankie and a divorce.

It stung a lot. Neville's classes were tense during that period right after his divorce. But he made the best of it.

Victoire broke up with Teddy in her sixth year. It had been a long time coming, and, honestly, both were happy to return to a platonic friendship. Around this time, though, it was a year after Neville's divorce, and Victoire struck up an odd but nice kind of friendship with the Herbology professor.

Somewhere along the line, my sister got it into her mind that Neville was appealing in a more than merely interested way. Vic says that those were the first days when Neville made her heart pound, but she just blushes now if you tell her that he obviously still does that now. It was also quite obvious that this was a kind of love at first sight.

Victoire's always been a bit pushy. It's just how she is. It's part of the nature she inherited from our mother, who was very similar when she was that age. Victoire could get herself in and out of trouble with her charms and attitude…except with Neville.

They actually conveyed their feelings to each other during a spot of detention, which is hysterically hilarious. Who ever heard of a love confession during a detention?! But that's just how Victoire and Neville work. They're what you'd call an "unconventional couple." Things just work at their own, odd pace. For example, once Vic was older and they started actually dating, it took Neville something like fifteen dates before he finally kissed her! Of course, take that with you to the grave; Vic would kill me if she knew I'd shared that with anyone else, ha.

But yeah, they work in their own special way. It was bad when they went public to the family alone. They were met with a mix of approval and disgust. I still don't think Mum and Dad have ever settled with the fact that the only person in the world who could ever get Victoire to settle down is Neville…but it's true. It's Neville. Victoire might be a multitude of negative emotions and unappealing characteristics on her own, but Neville balances all that out. He's…her human Ritalin.

Yes, Vic, I say that with all love intended. No, really!

Obviously if the family felt strange about them, so did our friends and colleagues. They waited a few years after Victoire finished school, so as not to raise suspicion. I mean, Victoire did not want to have to repeat any classes in which she'd certainly gotten the marks she deserved (she's a Ravenclaw for a reason). Luckily they passed under McGonagall's radar, and they had clear sailing out of others' storm of criticisms. Some people (a few of Vic's now ex-friends) rebuked Victoire for her actions. Others (our mates, the Scamander twins, for example) were just in amazement that a) she'd gotten away with such a relationship (ahem, friendship) during her schooldays and b) that she and Neville made it work.

Victoire and Neville… They take things slow, but they're rock-solid. It's an enviable quality, and I'm happy for my sister. It's good that their "scandal" calmed down.

One scandal wasn't as lucky.

James is a very capable person. You have to be to look after two younger siblings and your mother when your father isn't in the picture all that much (though, yes, Sirius has always been a great help). James was good in school, though a tad lazy, and he values his friends…

And he thought he could value the family enough to understand him when he found love.

Understand that James never had much trouble finding girlfriends before. In fact, he'd been a bit of a heartbreaker when he was younger, reminiscent of Sirius himself. But as James went on through school, he had fewer and fewer dates. Al never thought much of it. "Are you kidding?" he told me. "James needed to focus on his marks! He's smart, but—damn—he's a slacker when he's got no motivation. In fact, if it weren't for that bit of cajoling, he wouldn't have passed Muggle Studies in sixth year."

The "bit of cajoling" to which Al was referring came from the Muggle Studies professor, Justin Finch–Fletchley. He said James had talent for understanding Muggles and their creations and even convinced James to take his N.E.W.T. class—which, I might add, James passed the following year. But during James' sixth? James was bored…and a little angry with his father… Professor Finch–Fletchley bogged him down with extra lessons to bring his Muggle Studies marks up, but Professor Finch–Fletchely also realized James needed something else: a mate. Sure, James has his mates Troy and Curt and Lania, but Justin brought new aspects to the word "friend," and he also brought new thoughts to James' mind.

One little drama and fight later, James realized he felt more than friendly towards his teacher. The feeling was mutual.

"It was hell getting Jus to say anything about his true feelings to me," James answered me when I asked one day. "As pleasant as I can be"—we both snickered at that—"and as sweet as he can be, we were both so bloody pigheaded about…saying we liked each other. Student and teacher, wizard and wizard… It was a platter of trouble served freshly hot. But I know I couldn't help it. I'm glad he didn't want to help it, either. Otherwise we never would've gotten to where we are today."

Yeah, tell me about it. That had only been his sixth year. For his seventh, he and Justin had a horrible time because of a few misunderstandings that weren't worked out until it was almost too late. But they worked through their troubles—similar to how Victoire and Neville work, really—and many, many months later they told the family. It was damn near catastrophic. I… Hell, the reactions just by his parents and siblings were bad enough. I was in shock; I don't think any of us expected James, of all people, to turn out to be gay. Though, he says it isn't so much being gay as it is about loving someone who happens to be a wizard, a male, like him.

The loves that happen… The reactions to them… They can both be wondering or terrifying. Even if things are fine for the couple, it can never be perfect. There will always be a bit of anxiety, of fear, for anyone and everyone has the option of changing his or her mind whenever he or she feels like it. Vic and Neville… James and Justin… They're the best examples of it, if you ask me.

And now you must be asking, "So which sibling are you? Are you Louis? Or…" Heavens, no. No, I'm not Louis, bless our little brother's soul. I am Dominique Gabrielle Weasley, and I understand all of these people's loving souls best. I understand their worst fears best. I understand their pain.

I've told no one, not one single soul—not even my sister—that I am in love with a former teacher and current wedding boutique-owner and witch

Pansy Parkinson.

Godric, don't bother patronizing me or tearing me to pieces. Harbor your own judgments in your soul, whether you argue that Pansy cannot be matched with anyone or that two women ought not to be in love or engaged in any kind of non-platonic physical activities. Who are you to judge when you know so little? So I'll share that little with you, and maybe you'll start to understand what I've been trying to get across all this time, about love being that bloody broomstick ride.

Victoire and Neville were planning their wedding. Victoire refused any type of wedding planner, so she was running around doing practically everything by herself. When it came to her outfit, she trusted "Garland Boutique," the place where she could have her dress, veil, shoes, reception dress, and jewelry made all in one stop. Little by little, I collected my sister's items, trying them on before she could (but don't tell her that!). When it came to the dress…I didn't try it on. But it got me itching to try a wedding dress on, myself.

Pansy picked one for me and helped me into it. We both stared at my reflection, thinking… I could see in her eyes the ideas that had been stirring in my mind for a while. Maybe her fingers on my skin would feel better than this cloth. Maybe her hand in mine would feel better than the world's best set of diamonds. Maybe her eyes ought not to look at anything other than me ever again.

It wasn't a love at first sight, but it was that electric shock that travels down your spine and tugs at your navel, giving you that scary feeling that you're either about to vomit or burst into a hyper fit of giggles. Any girl in love (or like) is bound to know that emotion.

Now…it's been a few years. I'm horrified of what my family might say. I'm sure Mum and Dad have already labeled Louis their last hope, but they certainly will consider him as such if I ever tell them that their "single" daughter isn't so single. I fret often about the reactions… Sometimes I have nightmares that I'm cut off—I don't care about the financial aspect, since I can support myself working at Beauxbatons, but the emotional part of it… I never want to lose my family.

As proud as Pansy is, I know that when I crumple in her arms, crying, or when I wake up screaming from one of those nightmares, there's fear that seizes her, too. Only every now and then can I see it in her eyes. Most of the time I feel it in how her body tenses against mine, or how her arms tighten involuntarily around me. She seems to fear that my family will strike down her door and take me away… I don't like that thought, either.

But I'm more scared that her fear will get the better of her, and I'll lose the best thing that's ever come my way.

So, what is love but a passing, flimsy, oft unattainable thing? Is it something like that? Or is it something more, something not skin-deep but soul-deep? It isn't just that single glance or that one shock. It's not the idea that this person completes you, but the idea that you are more whole, that you are better because you have their strength and brains and good qualities added to yours. You are two separate entities who come together as a single, great being. You fight anything that comes your way and know it makes you all the better for having fought it, even if you didn't win it.

Love is a broomstick ride, uphill one minute and downhill the next. You may not be able to win the race, but it's how you ride it out that counts, my fellow Soldiers of Love.

- ^-^3

Well. :O I'm…so proud of this. I'll try to keep this A/N short so you can let the story sink in. Merlin… The point of this fic was just to use my favorite pairings to celebrate my breaking 200 stories…and somehow it turned into a thought-provoking piece, even for me. I'm super happy with it, and I hope you walk away feeling empowered (urgh, that sounds cheesy…), too.

Thanks for reading, and please review!

-mew-tsubaki ;) :D X3

2017 note: I…am still v proud of this 7yo oneshot. Tho I know sometimes people don't like stories that feel like a "list of pairings," I like the storytelling aspect of this story, especially in Dominique's voice. It lends a v different feel to my work, v different from other things I wrote before it and everything I've written since. Tbh…this fic leaves a lasting impression of me, and I'm glad I wrote something like this once. -w-