A/N: Written for limegreenrocks' "NextGen Pairing Challenge" on HPFC. I was a little skeptical about my pairing at first, but I really enjoyed writing this. I like where I stopped it, but let me know if you think I need to continue it.
Betwixt and Between
He's too young for her. She knows that. She's six years his senior. If they were dogs, she'd be forty-two years older than him. In the Muggle world, he's 'jailbait'. In the Muggle world, this would be easier, because she wouldn't have to actually make the choice. The law would literally make up her mind for her.
But this isn't the Muggle world, and so she has to make her own choice. She can't ask her sister, because she's who-knows-where doing who-knows-who. And it isn't like she can go to her mum for advice, because her mum will tell everyone and their brother. And this is one thing that does not need to be printed in The Daily Prophet.
Victoire Weasley is a successful twenty-four year old woman. She runs the third-largest fashion house in Wizarding England, and has quilled two Best-Selling novels for teen witches. She has more gold than she knows what to do with (not that she hasn't tried). She has dressed dignitaries, Quidditch players, high-ranking Purebloods, even Muggle actors and actresses. So why is she lusting after her younger cousin's seventeen year old – still in school – best friend?
Maybe it's the painting he gave her for Christmas. She'd been his Secret Santa, so he'd hand-painted a picture of Shell Cottage in late winter. It was magnificent. She'd asked him why he didn't sell his paintings, and had been answered with a laugh. Purebloods didn't work as artists, he'd choked out. It was beneath them.
Maybe it's the fact that he doesn't drool over her. Since she first began to grow breasts at the age of nine, males of all ages have lusted after her. Throughout her Hogwarts career, she received over fifty declarations of love, and at least ten marriage proposals. Every once in a while, she still receives 'fan mail' from overly-horny men, asking her to do things for them (random strangers) that she's never even done for her boyfriends (of which there have been few and far between). But he doesn't act that way around her. He acts as if she's just another ordinary woman (which she really isn't); he does not act as if she's a one-eighth Veela with cascading golden locks, a tall stature, fair skin, and sparkling blue – robin's egg blue – eyes (which she actually is).
Maybe it's the feelings that she associates with him. The lust, the fire, the danger, the raw passion flying between them every time she catches his eye. She never feels like this with anyone else. Not even her fiancé, and oldest friend, Teddy Lupin – who she has supposedly been in love with since the age of six – makes her feel like he does.
Any one of these things can be counted as the reason that Victoire is actually considering breaking off her engagement and chasing after Scorpius Malfoy. She's not even sure if he actually wants her! How foolish she'd feel, to call off her engagement, and then discover that he wasn't even interested!
No! She shouldn't even be thinking about this subject! Teddy loves her, and she loves him. End of story! Right? Right! Right? …Wrong? Damn it! Look at what he's done to her! She has no idea anymore; no idea what to think, what to say, what to feel. He's gotten her all befuddled, and he hasn't even done anything!
The grandfather clock in her flat's living room chimes midnight. She should be in bed, asleep. She has to get up early in the morning and do something that she can't be bothered to remember right now. It's late, she's tired, and she's confused. She's still not come to a conclusion about her dilemma, and it adds to her frustration. She pops a headache potion and gets into bed. She wiggles around, trying to get comfortable. Nothing works. So she lies in bed, mind racing.
She doesn't come to a conclusion that night. Nor does she come to one whilst trying on wedding dresses in the morning – the thing she had to get up early for – or while attending the weekly Sunday dinner at the Burrow – he's not even there tonight. Whenever she has a spare moment, she's thinking about her problem.
Safety or the unknown? Same-old-same-old or new blood? It's like choosing between a classic novel and the newest book on the shelves. Either is great in its own way. And this still doesn't solve her problem.
She thinks for months. She still can't believe she's entertaining the idea. But she is. Her wedding to Teddy draws closer. Half a year away, three months, one month, two weeks, one week, three days. She's still thinking right up to her turning point. Tomorrow she can marry Teddy, and (hopefully) live happily ever after, never knowing what could've been. Or she can leave him standing at the altar, waiting for a bride that will never come, and chase after Scorpius and what could be. Her life will change either way.
If she leaves Teddy, but isn't happy, will he take her back? Or will she lose him forever? There's no divorce in the Wizarding World, so if she marries Teddy, but eventually decides that she wants to see what could be with Scorpius, she'll be too late. She'll be stuck with Teddy forever. What is the right decision? What will make everyone happy?
No! She shakes her head. This is about what makes her happy, not what makes everyone else happy. She loves her family, but her love life will never be about them. And then she knows. She knows who she will choose. Who has won her heart forever.