A/N: Hey everyone, I know I said it would be a while until I updated but I made a special exception because I actually had this chapter written.
If you're looking for good plot development in this chapter . . . Then I'm sorry but you won't find that in this chapter. This one is strictly Valentine's day at Hogwarts, and it doesn't contribute to the plot so much so that I almost uploaded it separately as an outtake, but I know not everyone has me on their author's alters so this just seemed easiest.
If you don't want to read some fluff, (and admittedly humor because there's always so when these guys are around) then don't bother reading this chapter. I'm telling you know that it's pretty much a fluffy, funny, filler.
But for those of you who do want to read that (And those of you who have been missing Xavier in particular) I hope that you enjoy!
It was a few days after Victoire and Teddy had finally discussed what had happened at the second task, when Victoire found herself being awoken from a rather enjoyable dream thusly:
What Victoire's sleep laden mind had first interpreted as a grouping of banshees evilly trying to deafen everyone within hearing distance, turned out only to be a bunch of shallow harpies masquerading as her barely tolerable dorm mates.
She sat up in her bed rather sluggishly and then stared at the scene in her dorm with wide owlish eyes.
"Did somebody cast a defective geminio spell?" She asked as she eyed the pile of red roses –large enough to fill one of the greenhouses- that were scattered around Pamela's bed.
Pamela, whose cohorts were standing with her around her bed and who were still 'oohing' and 'awwing' over the green and red botany, sent Victoire a scathing look, "Jealousy isn't becoming on you Weasley, even if you are part Veela."
Victoire was still a little slow on the uptake –partly because she'd just woken up, and partly because as much as she could remember it was a Tuesday morning and nobody was all there on a Tuesday morning anyway. She just ended up shooting Pamela a genuinely confused look, "Then if you weren't experimenting with multiplication charms, why are there so many red roses?"
Pamela scoffed and flipped her blonde hair over her shoulder, "Because a few gentlemen sent them to me."
"Why? Is it your birthday?" Victoire asked even though she was fairly sure that Pamela had celebrated her eighteenth birthday earlier in the school year in September with a weeklong drinking binge.
"No. Godric you're dense this morning Weasley. It's Valentine's day, these flowers are from some of my many admirers," Pamela told her in a superior sounding tone.
Victoire was a second away from informing Pamela that from what she'd heard her many admirers didn't need to shower her with flowers to get what they were after, when Pamela was distracted by another owl flying into the open window of the room. The owl was also holding a bundle of what seemed to be flowers covered in delicate white lace and white wrapping paper. However, the smug smile Pamela had placed on her face disappeared when the owl flew past her without depositing the cargo with her. The owl continued to fly into the room and only stopped when it landed on the short wooden table beside Victoire's bed.
Victoire was surprised at first when Pamela had informed her that it was Valentine's day. She knew that it was coming up but when she woke up, she hadn't realized that today was the day. But now that she knew that it was the 14th of February, the familiar owl holding the large package of flowers didn't come as a big surprise.
She took a step towards the owl; gently untied the wrapped flowers from the strings attached to its legs, and scratched the owl's black feathers before sending it on its way. She set the package aside on her bed and then moved to the foot of her bed where her trunk was situated so that she could pull out her robes and get dressed for the day.
She could feel Pamela's eyes boring a hole into her head, so she asked as she dug around for one of her Gryffindor ties, "Something wrong Pamela?"
"Who are those flowers from? Why didn't you open them?"
"Maybe she doesn't like to flaunt her personal life to everyone she sees like some people Pamela," Sandra's voice suggested as she came out of the bathroom that was adjacent to the dorm room, fixing an earring into her left lobe. Sandra had been idly listening to Pamela and Victoire's conversation as she fought with her unruly curls in front of the bathroom mirror.
Pamela raised a mocking eyebrow at Sandra, "Says the only girl in this room who's in a committed relationship, and yet has absolutely no Valentine's gifts yet to show for it."
Sandra's eyes narrowed and Victoire saw her best mate's hand twitch to the spot in her robes when she knew she kept her wand. She attempted to distract the two before Sandra hexed their roommate.
"I'll open it here; they should go in a vase with water anyway," Victoire said aloud for the benefit of the peace of the room before gently removing the white lace and paper wrapping.
Once the spotless barrier was removed, she smiled at the sight of the bouquet of jasmine and larkspur. Sandra smiled sweetly along with Victoire -knowing the emotions her friend felt as she gazed at the offering of love and devotion- and then transfigured a simple clear vase out of the teacup that sat on her bedside table so that Victoire could put the flowers in it along with some water.
"What? The guy couldn't even spring for some magically altered flowers? How cheap. Those won't last very long. Certainly not as long as the roses my admirers sent me," Pamela sniped even though Victoire knew that she was just trying to get her to retaliate so that she would satisfy her burning curiosity as to who actually sent the flowers.
Victoire wandlessly casted the aguamenti charm into the vase before putting the flowers in it, "It's not cheap. It's a symbol. The fact that he didn't send me magically altered flowers shows that he cares for me the way I am and that he loves me without any of the pernicious artifice that we are oft to see in everybody now-a-days. He sends me flowers the way they are because he cares about me the way I am, and he doesn't want me to be someone I'm not."
Pamela's mouth popped open but Victoire didn't want to listen to her as she scrambled to find a proper insult that would diminish the affection that the gift symbolized in her heart. Instead, Victoire grabbed the bundle of school robes that she'd gathered, went into the bathroom to change and run a brush through her hair, and then came out not four minutes later, grabbed Sandra's hand, and left the room.
The two girls walked from Gryffindor Tower to the Great Hall for breakfast –all the while trying to ignore the aurors following them (or more specifically Victoire). As they walked Sandra voiced the absurdity of Pamela being so interested in the flowers Victoire had received, when she had, in fact, gotten a bouquet of the very same flowers every Valentine's day for the last seven years from the same sender.
Victoire just shrugged it off and suggested that since Pamela -along with almost the entire school- was involved with the active mystery that was 'who Victoire Weasley was currently involved with', she had probably noticed it especially this time when the previous years she just shrugged it off as a gesture from one of the many blokes who were interested in the blonde part Veela.
The two Gryffindor's were still discussing their least favourite roommate when they walked into the Great Hall and sat beside each other on the bench and across from a cheerful looking Ally Weasley. The thinly veiled annoyance that was in their tones as they spoke about Pamela made Ally asked the following question.
"What's the Queen of the Cosmetically Enhanced Cows done this time?"
Victoire snickered at the title her cousin had bestowed on her roommate whilst Sandra answered, "She was just being nosey. She wanted to know who it was that sent the bouquet of jasmine and larkspur to Victoire this morning."
Ally smirked, "She's lived with you guys for seven years and hadn't noticed yet that Victoire gets the same flowers every Valentine's day?"
"That's what I told Sandra," Victoire laughed as she reached for the pitcher of pumpkin juice so that she could fill her glass.
Sandra was spreading raspberry jam on a piece of toast, "She's going to be really disappointed if she ever finds out that it's always Kingsley who sends you a bouquet of jasmine and larkspur on Valentine's day."
Victoire nodded in agreement at Sandra's words, but couldn't help but smile when she thought of the gesture from her godfather.
Victoire was in muggle primary school when she had first really learned and taken note of the traditions of Valentine's day. As a child the day didn't develop much past making paper Valentine's and giving them to her friends and family members, but she did distinctly remember the occasion when she'd first learned about the idea of having one 'specific' valentine. She couldn't remember whom, but someone had told her that most women had a specific man as their valentine on the day. She had been confused at first because she couldn't think of who her valentine would be. Her father would have been a prime choice, but she was most certain that he was her Mamma's valentine. Her usual go-to-guy –even at that age- was Teddy but she didn't think that that was allowed since he already held the title of her 'bestest friend'. In addition, because when her Aunt Ginny had picked her and Teddy up from primary school that day, Teddy had given her a paper heart that he'd made for her and she had told him that she was very thankful from the special gift from her special valentine. (Although at the time Victoire was wondering, what her Uncle Harry would think if he heard Aunt Ginny call Teddy her valentine instead of him). She had come home from school and had been upset that she hadn't been able to figure out what man in her life was her valentine, until her godfather had decided to stop by for a visit and noticed how preoccupied she was. Once she had explained her dilemma to Kingsley, he had told her that she was the most important girl in his life and that he'd be honoured if she would consent to being his valentine. Young Victoire happily accepted and for the next few years –before she moved to Hogwarts- he would stop by and give her gifts every Valentine's day. The first year that she was a Hogwarts was when Kingsley started the tradition of sending her a bouquet of jasmine and larkspur.
And keeping with tradition Victoire had received a bouquet of the same flowers from her godfather for every year that she'd been at Hogwarts, and even though this year was very different from others, tradition had continued.
"She was just being rude and vicious Pamela like she always is. But you Miss Weasley, you look very happy this morning," Victoire commented as she saw that the radiant smile that had graced her younger cousin's face when they'd joined her hadn't abated yet.
Ally just smiled even brighter and hummed as she took a sip of her tea.
Sandra was suspicious of Ally too, and unlike Victoire, she wasn't distracted by the food before she could pick out the main difference in Ally's appearance from this morning to when they'd said goodnight to her the previous evening.
"My Ally that's a lovely flower that you have in your braid, would I be correct to assume that there are more from where that one came from?"
Victoire's attention shifted away from the eggs that she was eating to Ally's person. Her face was flushed a delightful red from the emotion that Sandra's question had brought up, and when Victoire shifted her gaze a little she was able to spot the miniature bright yellow sunflower that was affixed into her braided black hair.
"Yes there are more. And they're much larger too, I just shrunk this one so that I could carry it around with me today," Ally said shyly, her face still red but pleased.
"I take it that your room looked like a sunflower field this morning when you woke up? A gift from Xavier?" Victoire couldn't help but ask in a teasing tone.
Ally nodded at both questions.
Sandra rolled her eyes and whistled, "Smarmy little Scotsman isn't he?"
"I think he was going more for charming," a voice suggested from down the table.
A minute later the three girls were joined by Cecilia and Louis, the two sat next to Ally on the bench. Cecilia continued to come to her brother's defense, "It must be very difficult to find genuine sunflowers in Europe in February after."
Sandra inclined her head and Victoire asked Ally a follow up question, "Did he just send you flowers? Or was there a letter attached?"
Ally blushed an even deeper shade of red that made her light brown freckles stand out on her face.
Cecilia giggled, "Never mind Sandra, you were right. Xav definitely falls on the smarmy side."
Ally blushed even deeper but didn't deny the thoughts that she knew were travelling through her friends minds. She decided to change the topic of conversation away from herself, "So Cecilia, has Louis given you anything yet today?"
Victoire joined her cousin at looking wickedly at her younger brother. Louis' face turned a little red but Cecilia answered enthusiastically, "Louis wrote me the funniest poem."
"Funny?" Sandra asked surprised.
Both Cecilia and Louis shrugged, "We're only fourteen here Sandra."
"So who helped you with the poem idea then Louis? The only poetry you know is the French stuff Mamma's made us learn and none of that is particularly entertaining," Victoire said interestedly, "Dad? Mamma? Uncle Charlie? George? Uncle Harry or Aunt Hermione?"
Hmm, now that I think of it none of them are really the best people to go to when looking for serious advice on relationships. They do the best in their own way, but our family is definitely one of a kind.
"Aunt Audrey actually," Louis said proudly.
Smart guy. Use the opinion of one of the only actually sane family members that we have.
"So what did Kyle give you Sandra?" Cecilia asked.
Sandra smiled lightly, "Nothing yet. We probably won't exchange gifts until later today anyway. He's not coming to breakfast this morning because he promised to help Professor Everill set up something for his Ancient Runes class later today."
The minute the words were out of her mouth the daily post owls flew into the room. Along with the owls was another bird, which confused the students who saw it. Nevertheless, the white dove flew around the Hall before gracefully descending in the direction of Gryffindor table and landing elegantly on the empty spot on the table right in front of Sandra. Before Sandra could voice her confusion the dove opened it beautiful white wings and flew away, leaving a small and equally pristine white box tied with a deep red ribbon in its place.
Sandra slowly reached for the box, unraveled the ribbon, and lifted the lid of the small box. From the case came an assembly of jewel coloured butterflies that flew out of it and then fluttered up and away. Once the wall of colour butterflies had dissipated into the rest of the Great Hall, Sandra was able to see the gold chain along with the large emerald pendant that was attached to it that was left in the box.
"Wow. Kyle's got some skill," Louis whistled as he took in the shocked and impressed expressions of the girls around him.
"And some taste," Victoire commented as she glanced at the necklace in the box. It was definitely a gorgeous piece.
Sandra was still speechless but she could sense that her friends were curious about her gift so she lifted it out of the box. She turned the pendant around in her fingers and noticed an inscription in the gold that the large golf ball sized emerald was set in.
"There's something written here," She finally vocalized, "But I think it's in French."
Victoire moved closer to her friend so she could translate the words for her, "For your heart's desire, from mine."
"Never mind, I think Kyle wins the smarmy contest," Cecilia commented.
Sandra looked at the pendant with wide eyes. Kyle had given her jewellery before, over the years, but he'd never given her something so ostentatious or antique looking before.
"You should probably put it on before those girls from the Slytherin table take it from you, they look downright jealous," Victoire told her friend quietly as she looked at the table across the hall from them. A good portion of the hall had noticed the scene when the numerous butterflies had left the box and were waiting to see what was in it. The emerald of the pendant that Sandra held in her hands was large enough to be seen from the few Slytherins across the hall who were looking, and at the sight of such a grandiose and antique piece of jewellery the girls who were watching had started to look rather envious.
Sandra nodded her head dully and Victoire helped her friend put the necklace on. Once it was clasped and resting on her skin Sandra quickly situated her robes so that it wouldn't be immediately visible.
"Okay then . . . so what'd you get Vic?" Cecilia asked turning the attention of the group away from a now red-faced Sandra.
Victoire rolled her eyes at Cecilia, "I don't need anything tangible Cecilia. I don't need flowers, or love letters, or poems, or jewellery and big romantic gestures –not that there's anything wrong with them- to feel loved on Valentine's day. I'm perfectly happy with something as simple as-"
"Bacon?" Ally suggested picking up a plate that was beside her and handing it to Victoire.
"Bacon?" Victoire echoed her cousin as she shot her a baffled look. Ally was still pushing the plate towards her though, so Victoire shrugged it off and took the plate, "Sure, bacon. That can make me as happy as anything else."
Victoire looked down at the plate in her hands before raising her head up and giving her cousin a skeptical look. Ally smiled brightly back so Victoire sighed and looked back down at the plate. On one side of the china was a stack of delicious smelling bacon, on the other side was a small bundle of lilacs. She picked up the lilacs with the intention to smell them –she absolutely loved the smell of lilacs- when she noticed that there was a white folded piece of parchment paper underneath it. She took the paper unfolded it and couldn't stop the grin that broke across her face as she read the words.
-Happy Valentine's day Sweetheart-
While Victoire's Valentine's day gift wasn't as imposing, nor were the flowers as plentiful, as Sandra and Ally's gifts, she was perfectly happy with the thought that it did show since seeing Teddy during the day had been less and less likely since her new security detail had been established. She was completely content with the lilacs she'd received at breakfast, even if they were all she was to receive for the day.
Which it turns out, they weren't.
She didn't get any more notes from the metamorphmagus during the day, but it seemed that everywhere she went she found lilacs.
After they ate breakfast Ally went to her Defense Against the Dark Arts class, and Sandra left to go to her Arithmancy class. In which she would see her smarmy boyfriend for the first time that day, leaving Victoire to walk by herself –along with the two aurors who were her bodyguards today- to the Herbology class that was now being held indoors on the second floor because Kingsley didn't want her to be outside any more than she had too.
Professor Longbottom had decided that since it was Valentine's day, his lesson would consist of giving everyone in class a different flower and they would take turns searching through their textbook to see which potions and salves they were used in. Victoire didn't think much of Professor Longbottom's lesson plan, (he was well known to have a sentimental streak), until she saw that he'd placed a rather large sum of lilacs on her desk. She looked up at him in surprise and he gave her a sly grin and a wink before depositing a white chrysanthemum on the desk of Shelley Alexander who sat beside her. At the end of the lesson, Professor Longbottom announced that everyone could take their flowers back with them if they wished.
Victoire had been able to convince herself that the lilacs Professor Longbottom had given her were just a coincidence. However, she found that she couldn't lie to herself as the day went on. After Herbology, she found Kyle and Sandra –they were holding hands and Kyle was looking rather pleased with himself- and then walked to their next class, Charms, which they had together. When they got into the room, Victoire saw another bundle of lilacs sitting on top of the desk that she usually sat in. She only looked up when she heard a snickering sound. She looked beside her to Kyle and Sandra, and while they both had humongous grins on their faces, they weren't making a sound. When Victoire did figure out from whence the sound was coming from, she was shocked to see that it was from little Professor Flitwick, whom was watching her with an indulgent smile.
The same size bundle of lilacs was waiting for her on her assigned desk when she entered Transfiguration too. She was perplexed with that one because Kyle and Sandra had been with her since Charms so they couldn't have done it, and the scowl Linkwell had sent her when he'd seen the flowers was full with its usual abhorrence so he hadn't been in on it. She puzzled it together though, once she saw the three heads of different colours standing by the door on their way out of the classroom as the seventh years continued to pile in. Baxter, Louis, and Cecilia each sent her a wink before hurrying out the room, and presumably to their next classes.
At lunch time Victoire found some lilacs in what she'd thought was her empty goblet when she went to pour herself a glass of milk, along with a few of the blossoms scattered underneath the plate where she'd chosen to sit next to Ally. They were across from Kyle who had already been seated when she and Sandra joined them at the Gryffindor table after a quick trip to the lavatory.
Such was that Victoire was actually surprised when she went into potions and didn't find any flowers at her table. She was even more surprised when halfway through their lesson, the memory potion that she and Kyle were brewing changed from its (correct) deep blue colour to a lilac coloured purple. She looked closer into it and noticed that there was something floating up to the surface, so she transfigured the cauldron's stirring rod into a ladle and scooped out the impurity. Once it was out, the potion went back to the deep blue and seemed to go back to normal. Kyle had laughed at the expression on her face when she had looked closer at the ladle and saw that what she scooped out was a perfectly intact bundle of lilacs. When Victoire had stopped doing a good impression of a fish with her wide eyes and open mouth, she cast a suspicious look to her partner. Kyle chuckled but lifted up his hands as if to say that he didn't have anything to do with it. She believed him because oddly enough the lilacs presence in the cauldron made sense. A few months ago she and Kyle discovered that Rose and Al –who have Potions class directly before them- always used the same station that they are usually assigned to. And said younger cousins had given her a very deliberate look when they'd passes her on their way out of the class as she was on her way in earlier, a look that had confused her until now.
The period after Victoire's Potions class was a free one, and she had a standing deal with Ally that they'd spend it in the library to work on their homework because Victoire usually had Quidditch practice planned for the team on Tuesday nights –which was scheduled that night still. She met Ally at their usual table and was halfway through her Transfiguration essay when she got up to look through some of the stacks and grab a book that she needed to finish her work. Once she was seated at the table with Ally again she opened the book up and a -slighter larger than the others- bundle of lilacs sprang up out of the book. Victoire was flabbergasted and was glad that Ally's astonished expression had matched hers. However, not ten seconds later she had heard three distinct sets of giggles and saw Dom, Molly, and even Lucy walking past them and up to Madam Pince's desk where they proceeded to sign out the books that they had in their arms.
By the time Victoire got to A History of Magic, hers, Kyle's, and Sandra's last class of the day, she was keeping her eyes peeled for any sign of the light purple flowers. By now all of her clothes –along with Sandra's, and to his disappointment Kyle's- smelled lightly of lilac so she couldn't use her sense of smell to figure out where she would next find them. She eyed her desk carefully as she sat down next to Kyle's, and even cringed back when she opened the textbook that Professor Cooke had handed her that everyone was using for the day's class (even though there were no flowers jumping out of those pages).
There was only about ten minutes left of class, and Victoire was actually starting to get a little disappointed when she realized that she probably wouldn't get any flowers during the class. Professor Cooke had just finished the last part of the lesson, and as soon as the words were out of his mouth everyone's attention was drawn to the large wall of windows that made up the right side of the classroom where a small series of bright purple and bright blue fireworks were going off. The light show seemed to subside as quick as it had started and when everyone turned their attention back to what was going on inside the classroom, Victoire was utterly shocked with what was in front of her.
When she had looked away to the window, her desk was empty because she had cleared it a moment before, but after the fireworks, it was piled with the largest bundle of lilacs she'd seen yet. It completely covered the surface of her desk and looked like it could have all come from one entire bush. Everyone, including Sandra and Kyle, was looking at Victoire desk with awe. Everyone except Professor Cooke that was, for he was sporting a smirk that didn't look much different from the ones she'd seen on Professors Lomgbottom and Flitwick's faces earlier in the day, if not for the fact that it was slightly bigger, in keeping with the larger number of flowers.
The collection from A History of Magic wasn't the last she received though. When Victoire had walked into the Gryffindor Quidditch team's changing room before practice started with Ally, she had opened up her locker and found herself passively attacked by a barrage of lilac buds that poured out of her locker and onto the floor around her. The quick-witted comments of James and Freddie as they came into the room directly after she was assaulted with the sweet and lightly scented buds confirmed the suspicions she had come up with over the course of the day.
"Was everyone in on this?" Victoire asked her cousins as she watched the three of them putting on their gear for practice.
"Pretty much, just not to the full capacity. We only knew about the part we had to play," James told her as he put on his winter Quidditch boots.
"Although, I must say that a good job was done to keep it a secret with that many people knowing about it," Ally commented as she put a pair of woolen gloves on her hands before sliding her beaters gloves over top.
"Yeah, but since we did keep it a secret and do such a fantastic job with it, what are the chances that you'll cancel Quidditch practice tonight Vic?" Freddie asked as he pulled his practice jersey on over the thick layer of his winter coat. It was a rather cold night even for February.
Victoire flicked her wand and all of the lilac buds disappeared from where they were strewn out along the floor. "Not a chance Freddie," she replied as the other members of the Gryffindor Quidditch team came stumbling into the room to get dressed for practice.
"OI! JAMES POTTER IF YOU DON'T START TAKING THIS PRACTICE SERIOUSLY YOU'RE GOING TO BE SORRY!" Victoire screeched at her cousin as she implemented a sharp turn on her Firebolt and flew over to where the second year was hovering near the far left keeper's hoop.
He gave her a cheesy grin and Victoire realized too late, what she'd said wrong.
"Victoire how could I not take this practice seriously? Sirius is my middle name after all!" James told her with a toothy grin.
Victoire face palmed before taking a deep breath and saying, "It might be your name, but it's also an oxymoron. Just stop helping Freddie in his attempts to knock Delaney off of his broom with the bludgers."
James frowned and looked towards the middle keeper's hoop where Ally was apologizing to Carson Delaney for allowing the bludger to get away from her and Freddie as they performed their practice batting drills with it.
"But he's such a berk. I can't believe you actually let him be on the team," James told her angrily.
Victoire sighed and ran a free hand across her forehead to sweep away the loose strands of hair that had fallen out of her ponytail and in her face. When Xavier left, she knew that she needed to find a new keeper and fast. She didn't have time to hold try-outs so she went to their head of house Professor Longbottom for some advice. He helped her narrow down a list of students that he'd seen flying around the pitch on weekends or that he'd heard were good. She then had those few players try out separately, and with just Caroline Hilbert attempting to score. Sixth-year Carson Delaney was a tall and solid bloke, with dark curly hair and a reach that impressed Victoire enough to give him the position. He was a fairly good player, but James and Freddie absolutely hated him.
"I know that he's no Xavier Wood, but we need a keeper and he's the best one Gryffindor is left with," Victoire tried to reason with James.
"But that's the thing! He doesn't realize that he's not Xavier! He thinks that he can just fly right in and take his place!" James countered angrily as he pointed to where Delaney was still speaking with Ally.
Victoire rubbed her eyes tiredly. James and Freddie could have forgiven Delaney if he was a just conceited duffer –seeing as the two of them had pretty big egos themselves- but what they absolutely could not stand was the fact that Delaney used every free chance that he had to try to flirt to or hit on Ally. Victoire knew that it upset James and Fred, and even she felt uncomfortable with his actions, but Ally insisted that it wasn't a big bother to her, and pointed out that we needed him on the team and that she could handle his attentions for the limited time that they spent together in practice.
But it wasn't just practice that he tried flirt with Ally, and that was the problem. They were in the same year and in the same house so Victoire knew that Delaney and Ally probably had a lot of the same courses together. She wanted to tell Delaney to back off herself because they all knew that Ally was too nice to, but they needed him on the team, and his attentions to Ally off the pitch –as much as she hated to admit to it- were nothing that she could control.
"James, Ally has promised that if Delaney crosses the line with her that she will tell me right away. And if that happens I will use whatever badge that I have to –either my Captain's one or my Head Girl one- to make sure that he's dealt with. But for now we have to pull this team together if we have any hope of winning the House Cup, understand?" Victoire told him.
James nodded his dark head numbly and flew over to where Roger Michaels was completing a passing drill with Caroline Hilbert. James took Caroline's spot and she flew over to where Victoire was still hovering on her broom.
"What do you think of Delaney?" Victoire asked Caroline as she stopped her broom beside hers.
"He's okay. No Xavier Wood but even Xavier Wood isn't Xavier Wood; he's Oliver Wood in a younger package," Caroline said.
Victoire cracked a bit of a smile at that, "What do you think of doing some real time firing drills with Delaney actually in front of the hoops?"
"Well, to be honest I don't know. I just don't feel as though I get the same out of it when it's not Xavier. He was so good that he always challenged us and made us work harder. After going against him the other keepers were a piece of cake . . . but now if we get used to going against Delaney I think we'll become complacent in our skills and I'm afraid that we might revert backwards instead of move forwards," Caroline told her truthfully.
Victoire nodded, "Any other worries?"
"Yeah, there are only so many times that James can deliberately aim the quaffle at the guy's –more sensitive- areas before he figures out that James is doing it on purpose."
Victoire smirked a little.
James will be James.
She noticed that they sky was starting to get a little darker and that the clouds were staring to get heavier before she moved up the sleeve of her sweater so that she could check the time on her watch. She smiled at what she saw.
Five to seven.
"What is it?" Caroline asked recognizing the mischievous look on her Captain's face and becoming more than a little scared of it.
"If it doesn't start raining in five minutes, make up some lame excuse about having to do a detention or something and leave practice early. Spread the word to Roger to," Victoire told her.
"Why?" Caroline asked in confusion.
"You'll see," was all Victoire decided to tell her before announcing to everyone that they needed to continue with their drills while she went to the team room to grab another quaffle.
She had flown to the team room and grabbed a quaffle –like she said she would, but on her walk back she'd brought something else back with her. She stopped at the bottom of the pitch and called for the attention on the six players who were still in the air.
"EVERYONE DOWN HERE NOW!"
The six quickly complied with her orders and out of the corner of her eye she noticed Delaney shooting the darkening sky an apprehensive look.
"So, you guys will never guess what I found in our changing rooms," Victoire said in a teasing tone as she walked over to stand in between James and Fred who had put themselves in between Ally and Delaney when they landed.
"What?" Caroline asked wondering if Victoire's announcement would have anything to do with her order to come up with a believable lie.
"I actually think I'm more of a 'who' Caroline."
Everyone standing on the pitch recognized the voice. Their heads whipped quickly over to its source and everyone but one person stood there speechless as they looked at the newcomer; everyone but Ally that was.
Ally shot right away from the group and within seconds, she was in his arms. Xavier had picked her up off her feet as he squeezed her into a terribly tight hug and spun her around in a few circles.
"Go give Xavier a big hug like Ally did so that Delaney doesn't get too suspicious," Victoire whispered quietly to James beside her.
He gave her a nod before running up to Xavier and greeting him. Once he was there, Caroline and Roger sent Victoire a quick look before following James' lead and greeting their old teammate. Freddie gave Delaney a smug look before running and joining the rest of the team in the reunion.
Victoire looked at Delaney brazenly, "You know Xavier Wood don't you?"
Delaney nodded his head but it didn't escape Victoire's notice that he noticed that, while Xavier had given everyone else a hug he still had one arm firmly wrapped around Ally's waist.
Victoire gave Delaney one last look that she hoped he'd take as a silent warning before walking over to the rest of the team and giving Xavier a big hug. She hadn't hugged him before when she'd met him at the changing rooms –like they'd arranged too- because she knew that he'd appreciate that it if the first hug he'd gotten was from Ally. Victoire was surprised though, when she felt Xavier lift her feet off the ground and twirl her around in a circle before she was set back on the ground and released. The surprise was mostly due to the fact that he'd actually let go of Ally long enough to spin her around with both of his arms.
"What are you doing here Xavier?" Freddie asked him even though he was almost certain that he knew the reason.
"Victoire asked me if I was free to stop by and maybe get in an hour and a bit of practice with the team," Xavier told him with a wink.
"But aren't you tired from all of your training during the day with Puddlemere?" James asked shooting Delaney a superior smile.
Xavier watched the exchange with a bit of confusion but answered, "I'm never too tired to spend time with my favourite team."
Ally blushed as she correctly read into Xavier's meaning and Victoire decided that it was time to get things moving. She sent Caroline a specific look and the girl jumped at her cue.
"Listen Vic, I got detention earlier today from professor Linkwell and I have to go do it right now, so I'll see you later," she gave Xavier a final goodbye and quickly walked away from the pitch.
"I promised my girlfriend that I'd leave practice a little early so that we could spend some time on Valentine's day together," Roger told them earnestly. As he left the pitch Victoire made a mental note to commend him on his acting abilities next time she saw him; he didn't even have a girlfriend.
"Well I guess if that's two chasers down then we're not really enough for anymore practice. Looks like it's going to rain anyway. The rest of you can leave," Victoire said to the three boys but to Delaney in particular.
"I'm fine to stay if you want to continue the practice Victoire," Delaney told her.
Victoire opened her mouth to reply but Freddie beat her to it, "But none of us want to practice with you."
Victoire then had to 'discipline' Freddie, or at least until Delaney had travelled far enough away from the pitch so that he couldn't hear them anymore.
"Really Freddie? I know that you don't like the bloke but we need a keeper," Victoire scolded him.
"Why don't Fred and James like the new keeper?" Xavier asked Ally.
She blushed but then gave him a sweet smile, "It's childish, really. They just don't like him. But it doesn't matter. He doesn't really matter right now."
Victoire hadn't seen Ally and Xavier look at each other like that in a while so she thought that it was cute. Fred and James on the other hand, while they didn't want anyone coming in between Ally and Xavier, were very happy with not watching them give each other those looks, and left the pitch quickly.
When they were gone Xavier dragged his gaze away from Ally and then looked at Victoire, "Oh yeah, I'm supposed to give you this Vic."
He handed her a bundle of lilacs.
"Seriously? Is everyone in on this?" she asked in shock.
"You two can go now."
Victoire jumped a little when she heard the familiar voice several steps behind her. She spun around in her spot just in time to see Teddy –for the first time in a few days- sending the two aurors, who were supposed to be her bodyguards, away.
Victoire was still staring at Teddy in surprise as she watched him walk closer to her.
"Hey," he told her with a small smile.
The two continued to stare at each other for a minute before Victoire broke the silence, "So you're taking over for the other two aurors."
Teddy nodded his head and moved a step closer so he could wrap his arms around her waist and pull her close.
"So I'm guessing either Kurt or Jilly are going to be your partner for this?" Victoire asked tilting her head up so that she could see into his sapphire blue eyes at the closer angle.
He gave her another smile, "No. I think I can handle you on my own actually."
Victoire smiled brightly back and shot a glance at the lilac bundle that Xavier had given her, that was still in her left hand, "So don't you have anything to give me? It seems like everywhere I go today I'm finding lilacs."
Teddy chuckled, "I'm sorry to say that I'm empty handed actually. Personally, I thought that you'd like this gift better."
He moved one of his hands from her waist to her face, and tilted her chin up so that he could press his lips against hers. The moment their mouths made contact Victoire could feel the air escaping from her lungs in the sound of a sigh. The kiss fell to the more sweeter side of the spectrum, but if anything it just made her feel even weaker at the knees. She had to grab the front of Teddy's shirt to make sure that she kept herself upright.
Teddy broke the kiss what could have been seconds -or hours- later and gave her a smirk, "Better than flowers?"
"I'm not sure," Victoire teased him, once she'd replaced the oxygen in her lungs.
"It's a good thing that I gave you both then," he said with an even brighter smile.
Victoire looked down from his face to the front of his shirt where she still had a death grip on the thick material.
"Why aren't you in your aurors robes?" She asked in confusion as she noticed that he was in regular winter clothing.
He gave her his widest smile yet, "Because technically I'm not working right now. I'm off the clock."
Victoire's eyes immediately locked with his and it only took her a second to catch the deeper meaning of his words. Almost before the significance of his words registered with her, she'd thrown her arms around his neck and attached her lips back to his.
The kiss wasn't slow and sweet this time. It was hard and fast, and despite the connotation of Teddy's words and actions, it even felt a little desperate.
He broke off the kiss this time when he was out of air and used the position of his arm around her waist to bring her body tightly into his.
"Je t'aime," Teddy whispered into her hair.
"I love you too," Victoire spoke back into his chest, right where his heart was.
The two broke apart slowly and Victoire turned around because she he expected to be interrupted by Ally or Xavier, and they hadn't made a sound yet. Once Victoire had spotted them, she realized why they had been so quiet. The two were wrapped up in each other's arms and their mouths were currently busy trying to make up for the month and a half that they'd been apart. And from what Victoire saw, they were doing a rather efficient job of it too.
She pulled her wand out and waved it in the direction of the two as she and Teddy walked over to them, "Rictusempra."
She'd cast the spell directly at Xavier, so he was the one who ended up breaking the kiss between him and Ally, and directly after succumbing to uncontrolled laughter.
"Vic!" He tried to yell though the magically induced chuckles.
Victoire waved her wand again and Xavier's laughing stopped. He took a minute to get his breathing rate back to normal before giving Victoire a deadly glare.
"And to think that a few minutes ago I actually thought that I missed you."
Victoire rolled her eyes, "The only thing you were thinking about a few minutes ago was wondering how long you could continue to snog Ally without taking a break for oxygen."
Ally's face turned red while Xavier shook his head laughingly.
Victoire continued, "Help me pack up the gear and take it to the changing rooms?"
"So how's the new keeper coming?" Teddy asked Victoire as they carried in the last of the equipment to the changing rooms. Ally and Xavier had gone ahead of them a few minutes ago, and they had just reached the door to the change room.
Victoire stopped where she was and blocked Teddy from going into the room. He raised his eyebrow suspiciously but didn't try to move past her.
Victoire shot the door behind her an anxious glance before answering his question, "He's a decent player but Freddie and James hate him because he keeps flirting with Ally."
"And you're not planning on telling Xavier this are you?"
"No. There would be no point. He's only here for tonight so that they could see each other on Valentine's day, and I doubt Ally would want him spending that time trying to track down Delaney and arguing with him."
"So you're just not going to tell him?" Teddy asked.
"Unless it becomes a big problem –which I can't see it being- than no. I know he trusts her, but he's not the best at sharing so we'll probably just forget that it happened. Besides, I'm surprised Delaney's interest has lasted this long. Fred and James have been trying to get at him every chance they could, on and off the pitch," Victoire said trying to hide the smirk that came to her face anytime she remember the time that the two had cast a sticky charm on the quaffles they were using for practice one day. Causing the scarlet balls to stick to him when the chasers threw them in quick succession for a drill.
Both Victoire and Teddy turned their heads in time to see Kyle and Sandra coming around the corner of the hall and walking over to them.
"So is he here?" Sandra asked excitedly.
Victoire smiled brightly, "In the changing rooms." She nodded her head to the door she was in front of and pushed it aside with her shoulder so that the four of them could walk in.
Victoire rolled her eyes and sighed at what she saw.
Kyle was having a hard time keeping a straight face as he too took in the scene, "They haven't realized that we're here yet have they?"
Victoire rolled her eyes again. She really hoped that they would realize that they were standing there soon because she didn't really want to cast another tickling curse on Xavier. Therefore, she was happy when Kyle took charge of the situation.
"You guys do know that you need to breathe to continue all of the bodily functions connected to living . . . right?"
Ally broke away from Xavier's mouth as soon as she heard Kyle speak and she quickly and busily tried to hide her scarlet coloured face into Xavier's chest.
Xavier just rolled his eyes at his best mate and chuckled, "Sadly, yes. We do know that."
"Good," Kyle commented walking farther into the room so that he and Xavier could do one of those manly-one-arm-handshake-turned-into-a-hug-things, "Because we haven't seen you since Victoire's last task and I want you to be alive and breathing when I do get to see you."
Sandra followed Kyle into the room and gave Xavier a hug and a kiss on the cheek, "Yes, we thought we'd have to wait until Victoire had another near-death experience before we got to see you again."
"Hey!" Victoire called playfully from where she was on the far side of the room with Teddy putting away the last of the quaffles, "They aren't always near-death experiences . . . sometimes they're near kidnapping experiences."
"And it's proof that you have way too many of them when you can actually break them down into subcategories," Teddy commented dryly as he shut the door to the changing room's equipment closet.
Victoire gave him a sheepish look but changed her expression when she looked at Sandra and Kyle, "Okay, well Ally and I need to have a quick shower and change of clothes, so you guys can have Xavier for about fifteen minutes until we're finished and then he's Ally's for the rest of the night."
Everyone nodded and Ally gave Xavier a lingering kiss on the lips before Victoire playfully pulled her away and into the room with the girls' showers.
Two quick showers, two changes of clothes, and one hair drying charm later (Ally was too impatient to wait to allow her hair to dry even magically so she just tossed it up in a messy bun and ran out of the room) and Victoire was walking out of the room that housed the showers and into the team portion of the changing room.
She made her way over to where Teddy was standing by her locker pretending to be interested in the Marauder's Map that he had open in front of him. She cast the remainder of the room a quick look, rolled her eyes when she saw that Ally and Xavier were still in it, and that they hadn't made it to the door yet because they were making out.
"How long have they been at it?" Victoire asked as she tossed her practice jersey and pants into the locker.
"Only about the five minutes it took for you to cast the drying charm on your hair," Teddy told her in an uninterested tone as he folded up the map.
"I'm sorry I left you alone with them for even that amount of time," Victoire said as she closed her locker door and grabbed his hand.
He gave her a smirk and pulled her out of the changing rooms, "It's fine. It was actually somewhat cute to begin with. Plus, they haven't seen each other in a while."
Victoire smiled up at him as they walked down the hallway, "Yeah. I'm glad he was able to get the night off. They need this."
"Do you think they'll ever make it out of the changing rooms?" Teddy asked with an impish grin.
She laughed, "Right now I don't think that they even really realize that they're in a changing room."
Teddy joined in her laughter as the turned down another corridor. They were still holding hands, and even though Victoire enjoyed the ease such a small sign of affection brought, she still had to ask, "Aren't you going to let go soon?"
Teddy gave her sweet look, "Nope. Not tonight . . . although I hope that it won't offend you if I ask you to put the invisibility cloak on?"
Victoire rose a blond brow up at him, "Are you going to be under it too?"
He laughed, "Yup."
Victoire nodded then and once the two of them were hidden under the fabric of the ancient invisibility cloak, they made quick time up to the Astronomy tower, with Victoire not even realizing that Teddy had been directing her up there.
Once they were there, they took of the invisibility cloak and Victoire started to giggle.
"What's so funny?"
"This is just such a cliché, the Astronomy tower. Pretty much everyone has been up her at some point to snog someone else," Victoire told him even though she knew that he was already well aware of the fact.
"Well sometimes you need a little cliché. Besides, have you ever been up here to snog a boy?" Teddy asked her with a pointed look.
Victoire looked down at her toes and shook her head quickly. She'd had a handful of boyfriends before Teddy, and she may have kissed them every now and then, but she'd never really snogged anyone before him. And she'd never come up to the Astronomy tower before with any intention other than to learn astronomy from Professor Sinistra.
Teddy smiled and moved towards her so he could lightly kiss her forehead, "I didn't think so."
"So are you about to change that then?" She asked with an impish sparkle in her eyes.
Teddy moved his lips to the tip of her nose and gave her a quick kiss on the skin there.
"Nope. I'm here to do some astronomy," He told her with a grin.
Before she could comment, he moved away from her, waved his wand, and conjured up a thick blanket at one of the sides of the tower that was an open part in the wall for people to stand at the edge with their telescopes. He placed the blanket down on the ground of the opening and sat down sideways with his back to the edge of the opening on the right. He turned his head to the right so that he could see out at the sky, causing Victoire to lose sight of his face for the movement brought her the sight of the back of his head.
She shook her head at his silliness before walking over to join him. She sat down in between his legs with her back to the front of his chest and with his legs lying on either side of hers. She rested her head back into the crook of his neck and stared out at the black sky that had quickly filled with bright stars and a crescent moon.
She scanned the sky for a minute before pointing out, "Andromeda."
Teddy smiled and kissed the top of her head. He raised his hand and pointed to a particular star in Canis Major, "Sirius."
"Orion," Victoire said giggling as she needlessly pointed out one of the most well recognized constellations in the sky.
"Now I think we're just naming distant relatives of mine," Teddy told her teasingly.
Victoire chuckled and set her hand down onto the top of his right knee, "It makes it a little easier to remember the names that way."
"Yet you were also the one who enjoyed astronomy and not me," he countered.
"You're right. I actually think it might be a pureblood thing. The only other person I know who like's astronomy is Kyle."
"How does that make you feel, to know that you have so much in common with Kyle?"
Victoire shuddered playfully, "Godric you can't just say things like that. Ugh."
Teddy laughed and pressed a kiss into her hair. After their laughter died there was a serene pause before he spoke again, "So how was your day?"
"Interesting," She replied cryptically.
"Give me a little more to work with Vic."
"Fine. I didn't get the best wake-up call ever –half a dozen screaming harpies isn't exactly what a person wants to hear or see first thing in the morning, but after that it kept getting better."
Victoire rolled her eyes even though she knew that he couldn't see her because she had her back to him, "Well, it seemed like everybody was giving me things today. Kingsley gave me my bouquet of flowers of course, which really annoyed Pamela because I wouldn't tell her whom they were from. Ally gave me some tasty bacon and some flowers at breakfast. Professor Longbottom gave me some flowers during class –of course, he gave everyone flowers but it was still a sweet gesture. Flitwick gave me some flowers in Charms; I got some from Louis, Cecilia, and Baxter in Transfiguration. Sandra and Kyle worked some into my goblet at lunch, I got some during potions from Rose and Al. Molly, Dom, and Lucy gave me some when Ally and I were in the library studying, Professor Cooke gave me a verifiable bush of lilacs during A History of Magic. James and Freddie filled my locker in the changing rooms full of some blossoms, and then Xavier gave me some after I hugged him."
"And was there a particular moment that you enjoyed the most?"
"Yes actually. It was very sweet of Professor Cooke to give me such a large sum. Doesn't hurt that he's so good-looking either," Victoire told Teddy with a smirk.
Teddy moved his hands so that the held her waist and began tickling her sides.
"Very romantic of him, wasn't it?" He asked chuckling as he felt her squirm against him.
Victoire giggled out a form of positive response followed by a breathless plead for Teddy to stop his tickling assault. He stopped and his hands came to rest on her stomach.
Once her breathing had turned back to normal she asked, "How did you get everyone involved like that?"
"I can be very persuasive," Teddy, told her with a mock-serious tone.
"No really. Professor Longbottom?"
"Neville was one of the easiest ones. You know how much of a sentimental streak he has. Besides, he'd already come up with the lesson plan so it was easy to request that he just give you a specific flower."
"Professor Flitwick?" Victoire asked actually rather curious with that one.
"He absolutely loves me. And he absolutely loves you. And the only thing he would love more than the two of us separate, is the two of us together," Teddy told her seriously.
"Did he actually say that?"
"Pretty much, yeah. He's also rather glad that we finally told each other of our feelings because he said knowing how it is with our family that we could have been denying our affection for each other for a long time to come."
Victoire laughed. She could easily imagine tiny Professor Flitwick hitting his head on his desk as he dealt with their oblivious family members through the generations.
"Professor Cooke? You took a chance on that one. He knows that we're technically not supposed to be together."
"And he's technically not supposed to be with Jilly. Plus he said that the look on your face would be totally worth it."
"Okay, but how do you explain getting Lucy to help?" Victoire asked earnestly.
"You and I both know that Lucy isn't always that bad Vic."
Victoire turned around for a minute so that she could give him a disbelieving look. When she turned back to look at the sky she could feel Teddy's laughter vibrating though his chest.
"Okay, well once I brought up the fact, that none of the rules books state that flowers in the library are actually forbidden so she didn't have much of a chance to say no. I also asked her with both Dom and Molly there so they could convince her to help."
"So you manipulated and used peer-pressure on our impressionable young cousin?" Victoire asked sarcastically.
"Well yeah. That's also has I convinced James and Freddie to help," Teddy told her.
"And Louis and Baxter. This didn't really seem like their thing."
"This is completely true. However, Cecilia is a force to be reckoned with and the two of them really didn't have a choice once she knew about it."
Victoire giggled, "Well thank you for all of the manipulation and blackmailing. It was a very sweet gesture. And I can't believe that you remembered that I love the smell of lilacs so much."
Teddy sighed from behind her, "Vic, do you know what lilacs even symbolize?"
She shook her head, "Nope. I just thought that you picked them because you know that I hate traditional roses and that I loved the scent of lilacs."
"Well yes, I remembered that, but I would have thought that you would have looked up what the flowers symbolized. Or at the very least asked Neville if he knew what they meant," Teddy told her.
"Well then what do lilacs symbolize? I know red roses are for passionate love and the meanings behind the jasmine and larkspur that Kingsley always sends me."
Teddy leaned forward and placed a gentle kiss below her ear before whispering, "Lilacs symbolize first love."
Victoire turned her head to the left so that she could look at him and ended up nose to nose with him.
"Good, it took you long enough to realize that you loved me," She teased in a whisper.
Because she was watching his lips, she was able to see the smile where it began at the corner of his lips and as it turned into a full-blown smirk, "To be fair, I probably fell in love with you years before I even really knew what love was."
"You're so cheesy," She said kissing his cheek.
"But you love that about me."
"Very true," Victoire said as she placed a hand on the back of his head and pulled his face forward so that she could kiss him over her shoulder.
"Thank you," Victoire breathed in between kisses.
"For loving me."
A/N: 'Kay, so I hoped you guys liked my little Valentine's day gift to all of you readers. I appreciate you all.
Meanings of the flowers mentioned in this chapter:
Red roses: Passionate love, as most people know
White Chrysanthemum: Truth
Jasmine: Grace and Elegance
Larkspur: Beautiful Spirit
Sunflowers: Adoration (Cue all of the 'aww'ing sounds because of Xavier)
And Lilacs: Which I mentioned means first love
Who do you guys think had the best gifts? Vic, Ally, or Sandra?
Please follow this story on twitter, search TriandTryAgain
I'm not entirely sure when my next update with actual plot will be but I will get it up as soon as I figure out how I want to write it, and then find the time to write it.
A big thanks to everyone who reviews, favourties, subscribes, and reads!
Big, big thanks to: RoLouG, MuggleCreator, cherrybubble, rockon 88, marmar8089, Ash, brilliant incandescence, pryce123, and xSuperNovax.
And DFTBA, and Happy Valentine's Day!