a/n: okay, this is the first of a series of romantic oneshots for each of the Weasley/Potter Next-Generation kids, for misswhiteblack's challenge/contest.
This first is Victoire, with the song Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy by Queen.
Thanks to Leesha (Vanity Sinning) for providing me with the quote that gave me the vast majority of my inspiration for this piece.
(Lyrics in summary from SOS by Take That.)
You're waiting for a train, a train that will take you far away. – Inception.
steady as she goes
that's the recipe to
put a vagabond on his hands and knees
- What A Shame, Shinedown
The girl in the red coat waits, clutching a stuffed bunny rabbit in one chubby hand and her mother's fingers in the other.
She is the only splash of colour on the smoky platform, grey and black with the dirt of years of trains coming and going, passing through the station with no regard for the worries and hopes and dreams of the people getting onto and off them.
The girl's mother bends suddenly to raise her daughter's hood, concern etched into her face as she arranges the little girl's pretty blonde curls to rest against the breast of the bright coat, dropping a quick kiss on her forehead and murmuring something to her, too quiet to be heard over the roar of the trains entering and leaving the station.
The girl mutters a reply, her little navy shoes kicking disconsolately at a puddle, her face downcast. The mother sighs, whispers a comforting nothing, and then she straightens back up to face the train tracks.
Silence reigns over the pair, the mute stares of admiring men for the mother and the curious stares of other women for this beautiful woman and her china-doll little daughter.
"Miss," a man says, finally breaking the little bubble of quiet that surrounds them, and one pair of blue and one pair of brown eyes turn to fix on him with an unnerving iciness. The man continues uneasily, "I noticed you've been standing here for quite some time now. I just wanted to check that the two of you were okay."
The woman takes in his station steward's uniform, the lust in his eyes that he tries to hide, the honest concern on his features as he regards her.
"We're fine, thank you," she responds calmly, brushing a speck of dust off her grey wool coat, her eyes shuttered and cool. "We're waiting for a train."
"A train where?" the man presses, his hat twisting in his hands, "Because I could tell you when the next one's coming, so you'd know if you have time to get a coffee or something."
"We're not sure yet, are we, Lo?" the woman asks, turning to her child. "We'll know when it comes."
"You'll know," the man repeats, and the little girl lifts her head to glare at him from under her red hood.
"Yes sir," she says firmly, her fair cheeks rosy with the cold, "We'll know."
"Well, okay then," the man replies, and he walks away looking confused and muttering something about the changeability of women and how he'll never understand them. Mother and daughter share a private smile and return their gazes to the train tracks.
"This one, Maman?" the girl asks, and her mother watches the next train arrive.
"No, Lo, I think not," she decides, and Lo nods seriously and together they silently watch the train pass through.
"Why couldn't Daddy come too?" the little girl ventures finally, once the next train is gone, rushing away into the distance. "He likes trains."
"He can't come because he's the reason we're leaving, sweetheart," the mother replies gently, "Him and his work and because he shouted at me for all sorts of mean things."
"I think some of the things he said were at least a little bit true," Lo argues, raising one mittened hand to push her hood backwards, shaking her curls out and fixing her brown-eyed gaze on her mother. "Don't you, Maman? Like about me going to his school from when he was younger."
"Lo, we've discussed this," her mother argues, breath puffing out in front of her on the cold air, "We're going to be sending you to the wizarding school that Lux and Caroline and Arthur are going to. In Worcestershire."
"But, Maman," the little girl replies, "I don't want to go to school in Wooftershire. I want to go to Daddy's school."
"Lo, you're not like Daddy," her mother reminds her, crouching down in front of her and winding one of her daughter's blonde locks around her forefinger. "You're special, like me and like Auntie Dominique and Uncle Sebastian and Grandmère and Grandfather, and all of your other aunts and uncles and cousins."
"But I want to be like Daddy," Lo argues passionately, looking dangerously close to stomping her foot. "I don't want to be special."
"You can't help being special," another voice suddenly says, and mother and daughter whirl to find the man who spoke staring down at them with a mixture of amusement and desperation written across his features, and he's forgotten his jacket in his haste and he's all passionpassionpassion and the woman stares at him and sees all the shades of the good old-fashioned lover boy he was when they first met. "You are special, Lo. You should be proud of that."
"Daddy!" Lo exclaims with delight, abandoning her mother's hand and racing across the short space of platform between them and him, throwing herself into his arms and giggling as he lifts her, spinning her around neatly and then clutching her close.
"Don't you ever leave me again, okay?" he says into her hair, and she hugs him tightly around the neck and promises.
"Victoire," he says, raising his face from his daughter to look at his wife, "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry. I should never have said those things. I wish I could take them back. But please, I am begging you – please come back. You and Leonora. I need you."
"But you said them," Victoire replies, her pretty face looking terribly pained. "You said them, Matthew."
"Please, he says in a much quieter tone, shifting Lo over to one arm so he can stretch the other out to Victoire, "Please, 'Toire. I can't bear it without you."
"Come on, Maman," Lo presses, her head pressed against her father's, "Let's go home, and you can make a cake and we can take Alfie for a walk and then you can let me stay up all night to watch cartoons."
"Steady on, cricket," Matthew interrupts, bouncing his daughter and trying to hide a grin. "There's no way you're staying up all night."
"I'm four now," she reminds him seriously, patting his dark brown, curly hair with one mittened hand, "I'm old enough to stay up all night if I want to."
"I think not," Matthew and Victoire reply at the same time, and then they turn and stare at each other for a long moment.
"Please, Maman," Lo says, suddenly deadly serious, reaching out one arm for her mother, "Please come home with us."
"I'll do anything," Matthew adds, daring to take a step closer. "I can't live without you."
"You know," Victoire says, bending to pick up her suitcase and hiding a smile as Lo breaks out into a cheer, "You two would make a great pair of actors."
"Maman, Maman!" Lo cries with delight, clapping her hands and laughing with pure joy as her father gathers her mother closely up against him, Lo trapped in the middle and cheering for the wonder of it.
"Never leave again?" Matthew suggests, and Victoire smiles up at him and then kisses him deeply, much to Lo's disgust.
"I'll try," she replies, and suddenly Lo's red-sleeved arms are going around both of them and she's pushing her little head against theirs, still giggling for the relief.
"So where were you going to go?" Matthew inquires as he takes Victoire's suitcase, her arm tucking into his and his other arm still supporting Lo.
"We weren't exactly sure," Victoire replies, smiling at their daughter. "Anywhere – nowhere. I guess we'll never know."
They leave the station, the curly-haired man in the thin t-shirt with his wife in her grey coat and his daughter in her red, and they're not exactly a billboard advertisement for the perfect family – but they're a real one, with hopes and fears and schisms that they work together to breach, because that's what love is about. Not perfection, but something even better.
a/n: next up will be Dominique, I think. I'm afraid there will (by necessity) have to be several OCs in this. I like my OCs, but I know a lot of people run miles from OCs!
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