Clandestine: The Art of Keeping Secrets

It looks like this is over, then. There's nothing left in this relationship. She was never happier than the times that she was with him, but this has to end. It's not fair to her, and it's not fair to everyone else. No matter what he wants, she's going to stand up for herself this time. She can't keep hurting herself like this. Tonight, she'll tell him that they're done…forever.

Roxanne Weasley can't exactly remember when this whole thing started. It was at least two years ago, probably around the time that Teddy Lupin proposed to her cousin. He had come by Roxie's work – the Leaky Cauldron, where she was a waitress – for a few drinks.

A few turned into a lot, and by the time Roxie's shift was over, Teddy was drunk as you please. Roxie had offered to take him home, no matter how much she just wanted to return to her own house and sleep till noon the next day.

Roxie had Apparated herself and Teddy to his flat, where she set about putting him to bed. He woke up right as she was leaving, and called her back. She had complied, and when she reached him, he was standing. He pulled her into a snog – something she had dreamed of receiving from him since she started noticing the male gender.

The snog became fiercer, clothes were pulled off and scattered, there was a bit of stumbling and fumbling and tumbling. The next thing she could remember was waking up to bright sunlight pouring into the room. She took in her surroundings: naked, in bed with an equally-naked Teddy.

Roxie dressed as quickly – and quietly – as possible before leaving. Nothing would be more mortifying than having Teddy wake up and realize what a drunken mistake he had made. She wasn't sure if she'd be able to survive that.

Teddy never ended up confronting her about their one-night stand, nor she him. Mostly because it ended up not just being a one-night stand. The next weekend, he came to see her at the Leaky Cauldron, and invited her over to his flat when her shift was over. He said that he wanted her to see his latest painting (painting was his hobby when he wasn't chasing dark wizards as an Auror, or spending time with Victoire or the Potters or his grandmother).

She went to his flat, and he immediately started snogging her again. Yes, this was wrong. Yes, he was engaged to her cousin. Yes, if anyone found out about this, they could both be in some serious trouble. She knew all of that. But she also knew that this felt so right, and that was all that mattered to her.

That night, they slept together again. And the next morning, Roxie woke up before him again. She snuck out of his flat just as she had last weekend. Why was it that, at night it felt so perfect, but never the next morning? All she could feel at that moment was disgust for herself, and for what she was doing to her eldest cousin.

This has been going for two years, now. They get together at Teddy's flat at least once every two weeks, and every 'Morning After' finds her making a secret 'Walk of Shame'. Somehow, they're now closer than they've ever been. No one has noticed. Victoire has no idea that she's sharing her fiancé with her little cousin Roxie.

Roxie has no idea what this is. Is she his mistress? Or his 'booty-call', as she once heard her Uncle George call a woman they'd found in her Uncle Charlie's apartment? The first time – and maybe the second time – had just been experimental for her. She thought that they'd be exceptions to the rule, but that had turned out to not be the case.

She wasn't entirely comfortable with this 'relationship' they had. But she didn't have enough willpower to stop it. She's been in love with him for so long, and for him to finally see her as a woman (even if it's only in secret) is her dream come true. That's been true, up until today.

He sent her a letter this morning, asking her to come over tonight, as he does every time. And she's finally convinced herself to stop hoping for something more to come from their trysts. Because he's getting married tomorrow. So she won't be having one more secret rendezvous with him. (Besides, how is she even supposed to know if he wants this to be the last one?) Her morals may seem lax, but at least she has enough pride to not sleep with a man the night before his wedding.

She sends him a letter back at midnight, when she's sure that he knows she's not coming. There are a few tear stains on the edges of the parchment, but only a few. Not enough for him to realize how much this is hurting her. He doesn't deserve that knowledge.

Teddy –

It's probably obvious by now, but I'm not coming. Not tonight, not in two weeks, never again. I'm not exactly sure what 'this' was for you, but I don't really care. You're marrying Victoire tomorrow, and there is no power on this planet that could get me to sleep with you just hours before you become hers 'forever and always'.

Don't worry. I know that no one can ever find out about...'this'. Trust me, it would be as damaging to me as it would be to you. I plan on keeping 'this' a secret until…well, nobody will ever know.