Disclaimer: I own nothing.

…So I have just recently sold my soul to Mumford & Sons. Oh. And Andrew Garfield.

This is for Komal. Because I hate her a lot for telling me to write this pairing. A lot. Do you hear me? A lot.

Soundtrack / Winter Winds / Thistle and Weeds / Lover of the Light / Awake My Soul / I Gave You All / Liar / Timshel / Roll Away Your Stone / White Blank Page / After the Storm / Dustbowl Dance / Little Lion Man / Sigh No More /

x

and my head told my heart "let love grow"
but my heart told my head "this time no"

"Love, it will not betray you, dismay you, or enslave you
It will set you free
"
- Mumford & Sons

x

as the winter winds litter London with lonely hearts
oh, the warmth in your eyes swept me into your arms

And just like that, he's an outsider again.

He wants to blame Lily, but he can't, because it's Lily, for God's sakes. So he takes a deep breath, shoves his hands deep into his coat pockets, and enters the home he hadn't lived in for years.

Everyone looks different, and yet the same. There are the physical differences—Albus is sporting glasses, Louis is taller, Molly has lost weight, Roxy's dyed her hair brown. And then there are the things that shock him, make him gawk and do a double take. Vic has her elbow looped around a new man. Lucy carries a baby in her arms, with Lorcan trailing behind her, love struck. Rose is missing from the group, probably off with Scorpius or at one of her St. Mungo's seminars. Hugo and Lily sit on opposite sides of the room, rather than side-by-side as usual.

Lily.

He knows he shouldn't, but he begins to stride toward her purposely.

Just as he's about to reach her, he's caught off-guard by a tall, thin girl, who grabs his forearm and steers him in the opposite direction forcefully and silently. She loosens her iron grip in the unoccupied hallway leading to the kitchen, where he is shaken out of his shock enough to speak.

"What the—what was that all about?" he protests, confused, as he begins to step back into the living room.

The girl shoves a hand into his chest, hard. "Not the best idea, mate."

It's only then that he realizes who she is. It takes a bit of squinting and digging deep into old, blurry memories, but soon enough he recognizes the high cheekbones and cloudy blue eyes. "I really don't think this is your place to butt in, Dom," he replies curtly. "Lily is—was my best friend and I just wanted to say 'hello'."

Dominique rolls her eyes and places a hand on a tilted hip. "You see, Teddy, darling, Lily dearest isn't exactly on the best terms with the rest of the Weasley-Potter clan, if you catch my drift."

Teddy narrows his eyes. "Well, even though it obviously hasn't been made aware to you, she is on good terms with me. So, if you'd just excuse me—"

"Somehow, I seriously doubt that," she argues, stepping in his path again.

"Look, Dom, I'm going to ask nicely for you to please let me pass before I hex you out of my way and into space."

"Ooh, a chilling threat made by the boy who cried when he stepped on a snail," Dominique retorts with a snort.

His mouth falls open and his forehead wrinkles at the comment. "I was eight!" he cries. "Now, get out of my way."

"If I remember correctly—and I always do—you were twelve." She slips her wand out of its hiding place in the side of her boot and points it at him, sympathy on her face. "Teddy, I'm telling you, you don't want to go out there and talk to her."

"Dominique, what I want to do is completely out of your control." He pushes past her gently, and, before she can stop him, steps back into the well-lit living room, back in the direction of Lily's place on the sofa.

Just in time to witness Scorpius Malfoy, of all the wizards in England, take a seat beside her and place a not-so-appropriate kiss on her lips.

Dominique appears behind his shoulder and tugs him to a spot by the front door. "What the actual fuck," he mutters quietly, his hair pink with shock and confusion. "Seriously. Godric, what is happening with the world?"

"I tried to warn you," Dom says with a shrug. "No one ever listens to me in this place."

"When did this happen?" Teddy asks weakly. He glances back at Lily, who had, since not noticing his presence, begun snogging her new apparent beau.

Dom gives him a pitying look again. "C'mon, let's go outside. It may not seem like it, but everyone's looking. And, trust me, they're also talking." She takes his hand in hers and opens the door, leading him outside to the rickety bench on the front porch, a brilliantly white view of the new snowfall in front of them. She sits on the splintering wood and pats the space beside her, where Teddy shakily sits. "You look like you could use a drink," she murmurs, and then says clearly, "Accio Firewhiskey!"

A bottle whizzes down from the window above them, and Teddy watches as it flies into her hand. She twists off the previously-opened cap, takes a swig, and then offers it to him. He eyes it unsurely.

"Lily and I always used to keep a stash," she explains nonchalantly.

In defeat, he grabs the bottle around a neck and takes a long, hard gulp.

"I've been staying here while I'm interning at the Ministry. Dad and Mum are in that weird stage when all their kids have left home and finished school and without us being brats, they fall in love all over again and start going at it like bunnies after the zombie apocalypse. I was living there for a year after Hogwarts, looking for a job, and then I caught them doing it on the kitchen table. An hour later, I had all my bags packed, found out they had a spare room since Al moved into that flat with Louis, and Uncle Harry owled that he'd found me an position at the Ministry. I Flooed in and I've been here ever since." She takes the bottle from him and takes a sip.

Teddy licks his lips, wipes the back of his hand across his mouth clumsily. "I still don't see how…this happened." He gestures behind them.

"Well, Lily and I were having a blast together and soon enough, Rose came down to stay, too—said the rent she was paying was too much, and Aunt Hermione was busy enough taking care of Gram and Gramps to accommodate her anymore. So she took the spare and I shared a room with Lil, and, naturally, Scorpius followed Rosie down here and practically lived in that spare room, too." She sighs deeply, drinks until the Firewhiskey is half-full, and offers it to him. When he shakes his head, she takes another gulp and sets it on the ground. "And then one day Ro' and I opened the door and Scorp and Lily were all over each other. Rose was devastated—I felt horrible. She's down in London with Al and Lou; we've been owling but she isn't in any rush to see Lil again. And Uncle Harry was livid—started yelling at Lils, asking her where her morals were and going on about betrayal and loyalty and trust. Scorpius isn't supposed to be in the house, he's probably going to leave before Uncle Harry gets back from the Ministry. No one's talking to Lily except Aunt Ginny. And Scorp, of course."

Teddy places his face in his palms, leaning over. "This just doesn't seem like Lily," he mumbles into his hands, his voice muffled.

"Tell me about it." Dom smoothes her hair back, rolling her eyes. "The other day I went in the bathroom and caught them snogging on the sink. On the sink! And they didn't even apologize or anything. Scorp just blushed and Lily was like, 'Excuse us,' and I stepped out and closed the door. They're shameless."

His face falls at the same time that his heart does. "I can't believe this." His hair goes from blue to a dark gray, which makes him look older than he really is. "That's just not the Lily I know."

"Me, either." Dom groans. "She's rebelling or angry or something, I know it. It's just disgusting the way she's doing it. I mean, it's hilarious when she's her bitchy self…until she's doing it to you. Then it's just annoying. I would have moved out already, but I haven't got any other place to stay."

He looks at her. Really looks at her. The way her hair, a red lighter than all the other Weasley girls', falls to her waist in waves. The way her eyes are blue like the summer sky or the ocean during sunrise. The way her eyelashes brush against her freckle-less cheeks when she blinks. The way she rolls her eyes constantly and bites her lip after one of her biting sarcastic comments. He knows he's going to regret this sooner or later. And most likely sooner, rather than later. But… "You can stay with me. I'm living in Grimmauld Place right now. It's not some cool, modern flat or the best place to throw a party, and to be honest it's kind of creepy there… but it's got plenty of rooms and it's in London, right near the Ministry." He regrets it as soon as it spills out of his mouth. Damn his generosity!

But her eyes light up and her back straightens in excitement. "Really?" she squeaks. He swallows, and nods slowly. "Merlin, that'd be awesome! I'll get my things ready and I'll go home with you tonight, okay? You're a lifesaver, Lupin, you really are! Finally, I can open doors without being afraid to traumatize myself. I'll go get my bags; I'll just be twenty minutes. You're amazing, Lupin, don't let anyone tell you otherwise!"

And just like that, Dominique is rushing through the door and up the stairs and Teddy is left standing out in the snow, with a new roommate. Huh.

(He's grinning, nonetheless.)

x

i know you have felt much
more love than you've shown

It becomes a routine. He leaves for his job in the apothecary in Diagon Alley early in the morning, and she leaves for the Ministry a little later. He comes back at around five, she at six, taking turns on which one brings home takeout. Teddy prefers Chinese and sandwiches while Dominique has a thing for trying exotic cuisines. Once in a while they go out to the cinema or the Leaky Cauldron or have an ice cream at Florean Fortescue's, and every couple weekends they invite over some friends and the cousins whom they're still speaking to and have a small party that always seems to end with them waking up next to each other on the lawn, heads spinning and already giggling at the antics they'd gotten up to. Always, Teddy mutters to her that he's getting too old for this as he, being the gentleman he is, holds the front door open for her. And always, Dominique, being the girl she is, rolls her eyes and shoves him over the threshold in front of her, saying that she'll never think of him as old, but if he doesn't do something about those wrinkles then her opinion might start to waver.

It's become more than just their daily, weekly, monthly schedule. It becomes a way of life. She teaches him how to live again, how to have fun instead of moping around in his dark, lonely home. He teaches her how to settle down, to be satisfied with a calm evening at home, playing cards or watching the telly or reading Rita Skeeter articles out loud to each other and keeling over with laughter at the ridiculousness of the subjects. It's something he becomes more than comfortable with. It becomes something that, in time, he realizes he doesn't regret.

She's a lot like Lily, in a way. For some reason he feels it wrong to compare them to each other, but it's a truth that is difficult to avoid. They have the same sardonic sense of humor, the same point of view towards their large, accomplished family, the same penchant for Firewhiskey and appreciation for a good, wild party. But Dominique wasn't quite as temperamental. Not quite the same type of Slytherin that Lily had been known for. Like her hair was quenched, she wasn't nearly as searing as Lily nor as stubborn.

And those nights when they sit on the sofa and make up new drinking games, or glare at each other after trading insults and then keeling over with laughter, or bring home each other's favorite fast food meal, or even those nights when they sit on the roof and watch the sun set the horizon on fire, he appreciates the difference.

Once, he asks about Scorpius. Only once. They come home from a Thai restaurant and he makes his way downstairs to bid her good night, and finds her crouched over the table, scribbling a letter onto a ripped piece of paper, an owl hooting impatiently on the chair beside her.

"Shut up, will you, I'm almost done!" she shrieks at the owl. And then, when she hears his footsteps in the kitchen, "Hey, Ted, Rose just sent me an owl." She glances over her shoulder, eyeing him up and down. "Nice pajamas. Going to bed already? You want to play some Exploding Snap first?"

Teddy pulls up a chair beside her. "Nah, I don't feel like re-growing my eyebrows, it always itches badly in the morning. What's Rosie up to?"

"She's still not over Scorpius." She sucks on her Sugar Quill. Teddy ignores the twinge in his stomach and blames it on too much testosterone. Dom scribbles another line, signs the letter with a flourish, and places it in the little pouch on the owl's leg. It hoots at her again, and flies out the open window, disappearing into the dark sky. "Godric, I hate Rose's owl. Every time it hoots I feel like it's swearing at me or something."

He hesitates before he opens his mouth, but something in the back of his head pushes him to ask it. "Say, Dom…" he begins. "Whatever happened between you and that Malfoy git?"

Dominique freezes, her facial features stony and her teeth coming down on her bottom lip instinctively. "What?" she chokes out.

He stumbles a little over his words at her reaction. "S—Scorpius. I dunno. It was a long time ago. I—I remember Vic mentioning that you had a thing for him or something. I just thought—I probably don't know what I'm talking about."

She gazes at him for a long time, her eyebrows narrowed and her pale blue eyes resembling the ice in her older sister's. "Yeah," she says harshly. "You probably don't." She stands up, her chair making a high-pitched creak as it scrapes against the linoleum tile. "I'm going to bed. Good-night."

He watches her stiff back as it enters the hallway and blends into the dim light. Neither of them say a word.

Later that night he hears a knock on his door, and when he grunts his groggy reply she walks in clumsily, wearing boxer shorts and an old, holey t-shirt of his. He squints at her in the darkness, his hair a neon green that illuminates them both, and finally lifts the covers. She crawls in, curled up against him, her body cold against his own warm skin.

"I loved him," she whispers after a bit of silence, "for a long, long time. And no one believed me. Except for Vic."

He stays quiet, but wraps an arm around her, keeping her from shivering. Their deep, steady breaths begin to match each other as he blinks in the pitch blackness of the room.

"He told me he loved me too, but he was still with Rose, the whole time, from when we got together to when we broke up. And now, looking back, I honestly don't think that he ever really did love me." Her voice cracks somewhere in the middle of her sentence and suddenly Teddy finds his arm wet with salty tears.

He brushes her hair back, and presses a kiss to her forehead. "I believe you," he breathes. "I believe you, and I'm sorry."

"Thanks," she whispers back.

"It's no problem."

"No, really, Ted." She scoots closer, and props herself up on her elbow. "Thank you. For everything. For letting me stay here. And, for, I dunno, showing me good restaurants and buying me ice cream. And not being a total arse like everyone else I know."

He looks up at her. Her eyes are like stars, the most visible thing in the pale dark. "You're welcome, Dom," he tells her, his voice loaded with sleepiness and sincerity.

That's when she kisses him.

x

but love the one you hold and i will be your goal
to have and to hold a lover of the light

It's the way she sways her hips on purpose when she walks away, he decides.

No, it's the way she bends over and ties her long, strawberry hair up in a messy knot, revealing the nape of her neck, vulnerable and enticing at the same time, before she slips into the bathroom to take a shower, he argues with himself.

It's definitely the way she presses an open-mouthed kiss against the palm of his hand when he wakes up in the morning, he thinks.

And then he realizes that it's the way she's all herself, and no one else.

x

lend me your hand and we'll conquer them all
but lend me your heart and i'll just let you fall

They sit on the roof one night, the shingles rough against his back as lies down, watching the stars twinkle above them, the same sensation he feels when he sees Dominique's blue eyes in the dark.

"There's so many of them," she wonders aloud. "It makes you think, huh, Teddy?"

He stares up at the night sky, and connects some of the constellations he'd learned in Astronomy at Hogwarts. "No, not really," he comments. "It just kind of makes my eyes hurt after a while."

She laughs out loud, the sound of it filling the empty street. "Oh, stop being such a twat. I mean, like, we're so unimportant. There's billions, trillions, gazillions of stars out there. And there's only two of us." She looks up again, her long hair almost ethereal as he gazes at her gazing. "We're so bloody outnumbered, and yet we fight and fight and fight, believing each time so hard that we're going to win." She sighs, softly, her breath lost in the open air.

x

like the coward i am i hang my head
and you lay careless your head on my chest
and don't even look at me looking my best

They get an invitation in the mail one day—a fancy envelope with lace trim, looping cursive on the back, and a small magical seal, a blooming rose. Teddy holds it up, shows it to her, and she hops over the back of the sofa to look at it up close. As they look at it, sitting at the dinner table, Dominique finally grabs it with a shrug and opens it unceremoniously, ripping some of it in the process.

"It's an invitation," Dominique tells him, reading the contents of the letter. Her blue eyes peek over the top to glance it him.

He runs a hand through his hair impatiently. "To where?"

Dom pauses, watching his movements. And then, "A wedding."

Teddy stops, but his hair begins changing color, going through the motions, the colors of the rainbow. "Whose wedding?" he asks so quietly that she almost doesn't hear it.

It seems like ages before she answers. And when she does, it's lost in the wind, so soft and subtle and careful that she has to say it twice before his face twitches and he looks up from his lap and meets her eyes. "Victoire's," she mutters. "Victoire's wedding. To her boyfriend. Sean something-or-other…" Dominique's gaze flickers back to the invitation. "Oh, Sean Finnigan."

Teddy's neck snaps up, his eyes wide. Wide with something, a strange emotion that she can't place a name on. "Vic's." His forehead wrinkles. "When is it?" he asks curiously.

"Three months," Dom answers quietly. "She's asked me to be a bridesmaid," she notes as she takes out an extra slip of paper from the envelope. "I don't think I'm going to do it, though."

"You should," Teddy tells her, standing up from his seat and going into the kitchen. "I'm going to make tea, you want some?"

"Yeah," Dominique answers, and scans the paper up and down once again. She realizes what the emotion that had appeared across Teddy's face had been. It had shown in the soft blue his hair had taken on, the vivid green his eyes had become, the way his face had frozen and then fallen back into its usual calm demeanor.

It had been relief.

It makes her and it breaks her, all together and into pieces.

They go to the wedding, in the end. Together, but also not quite. When they think no one is looking he twines their fingers together and they share small smiles and exchange knowing looks. While they're chatting with James and Molly and Fred, having a glass of red wine, because she can't resist, she takes the corner of her napkin and wipes his cheek, where a drop of liquid had settled. Molly's intense stare lingers when their skin connects, and Teddy steps away, giving her a look but saying, "Thank you," politely anyway, but the boys don't notice the proximity in which they stand from each other, if it can even be called that.

She looks pretty, walking down the aisle in a form fitting gold dress, her hair in loose curls and her makeup natural-looking. She can't hold a straight face and breaks into a wide grin in the middle of the procession, hiding excited giggles behind manicured nails. She keeps on looking at him and winking, and he laughs with her because, Godric, she's hilarious and pretty and she keeps him smiling, keeps him happy.

It's always like this when it's Dominique. The feelings always come as a surprise. They blast into him without warning, and suddenly it's like everything comes together. He looks at her and he wonders if they look good together. He wonders if they even are together.

But there's a girl on the other side of the church that he keeps on coming back to. She sits with her fingers twisted in her lap, her hair in flames, her eyeliner too much and her words too little. He can't help it, the way that he keeps on turning, watching her when everyone else pays attention to the vows. There's something in the way she is everything. Like she's a metal and his eyes are magnets.

Once, she turns her head and meets his eyes. The jaded green irises are familiar to him and yet so broken he has no idea who they belong to anymore. And in one second, with their gazes connected and their lives colliding together once again, there is nothing and no one else on his mind.

x

and i will tell the night, whisper "lose your sight"
but i can't move the mountains for you

It happens during the reception.

She sits at the front table, but keeps on flitting down from her spot when her sister is too busy catering to her many (male) fans to sit down in an empty chair next to him. She speaks to her cousins, jokes, plans parties, invites people over for drinks and Exploding Snap and whatnot. Talks about anything but them. What they're up to when no one is over for tea. What they've been doing. Or, better, who they've been doing.

It's Molly who asks first. She, at least, has enough class to wait for Roxanne and Fred to stand up to stop a tipsy George from making a speech and embarrassing the family name. Molly looks at Lucy covertly, who is busy taking a crying baby Joseph from Lorcan's arms, and then leans toward Dominique.

"You two are together, aren't you?" she asks bluntly.

Teddy's hair color goes from blond to a mixture of vomit-green and sunflower yellow. Dominique chokes on her spoonful of soup. When they both regain their wits, they answer at the same time so it's hard to discern who says what.

"Yes," Teddy answers calmly at the same time that Dominique cries, "Of course not!"

Molly looks at the two of them, her brown-eyed stare penetrating the not-quite-couple glaring at each other. "You'd probably better figure that out, then," she sighs, and leaves to go talk to Lysander Scamander.

As soon as her cousin leaves, Dom throws her death stare at Teddy. "What do you think you're playing at, Lupin?" she hisses through gritted teeth. "This is my family we're among."

"They're my family, too, practically," he retorts hotly. "For longer than they've been yours, even."

"You don't know them like I do!" she says, her hands shaking. "They take one small mistake, one odd characteristic and blow it up and into pieces. If they think we're together, they're going to rip that fact to shreds with their mindless gossip and unwanted opinions. This isn't just a little family get-together, Lupin, it's how people will talk about us for the rest of our lives."

Teddy doesn't talk, only holding her gaze before she finally averts her eyes, her fingers coming to play with the baby hairs on the nape of her neck. "Are we together?" he asks gently.

"I… don't know."

"Why do you care so much about what they think?"

"I don't know."

"What is it that you know, then?" he asks, trying to take out the condescending tone in the question. "What is it that you're sure of?"

"That I don't want them to ruin what we have." And with this, she picks up her matching purse, leaves her spoon and fork neatly crossed on top of her half-eaten meal, and leaves, her black heels clicking against the wooden ballroom floor, ignoring the stares that follow her as she leaves.

He ends up standing and heading in her direction in a few minutes, anyway. He finds her sitting on the curb of the street, watching Muggle cars pass, her fingers clutching her glittering purse as if it's holding her together.

"Dom, I –"

"I'm sorry, Ted," she sobs tearlessly, and then throws her arms around his neck and kisses him, long and lovely and lightly. "We're together," she declares. "We're together, we're together, we're together."

And so he holds her in his arms.

(All the while, a young girl with hair like explosions and eyes like ashes watches from the sidelines, her arms crossed over her chest and her gaze scathing.)

x

it seems as if all my bridges have been burned
you say that's exactly how this grace thing works

He speaks to her for the first time in ages that same night. Dominique is busy giggling with Albus and Rose and Roxanne outside. He goes in to say good-bye to Victoire, but when he starts through the small hallway that leads to the outside he's greeted by a face that's he's both dreaded and longed to see.

"Teddy," she mutters. "Where've you been? I haven't seen you in a long time."

His hair turns blue and his eyes turn green almost on instinct. He thinks it could possibly be instinct. "I think I could ask you the same question," he tells her. "I've just been in London."

She smiles. "I was in Romania for a while. But I'm back now. I'm probably to go back in the summer, though. No one seems to want me around here."

His mind swears at him violently as soon as he says the words out loud. "I do… I—I want you here, Lily-pad."

Lily laughs out loud. "No one's called me that in ages." Her hand lifts habitually and loses itself in her mane of red hair. "Scorpius and I broke up," she breathes out finally.

"I—"

"It's nothing, I just thought I ought to tell someone, nobody wants to talk to me. I'm sorry." She bites her lip, messes up her lipstick.

"Me, too," he sighs.

"I missed you."

He leaves her, eventually. Goes back outside to join Dominique (his girlfriend?) and his friends and her cousins.

But when he wraps an arm around her waist and kisses the side of her head, God, he feels so fucking tainted.

x

can you lie next to her and give her your heart
your heart, as well as your body

It happens on a lazy Sunday morning.

The night before they had another one of those parties, and Teddy wakes up, like always, on the grassy front lawn. A neighbor, still in his robe, picks up the newspaper and waves at him. Teddy waves back, his arms sore, and sits up, shaking dirt out of his orange hair. Dominique snores on his lap. He laughs, wipes away some of the smeared makeup on her cheeks, and throws her over his shoulder.

He opens the door, steps over a couple of unconscious bodies, and gently lays her on the sofa after clearing off the bottles and discarded wands. James appears in the doorway, buttoning up his shirt and running a hand through his hair. "That party was amazing," he congratulates. "I'll come by for lunch later, yeah? I've got to get to Quidditch practice though. See you, Ted."

He waves his friend good-bye and listens to the door open and close, heading into the kitchen to start the coffee and tea. He's so concentrated that he doesn't hear the footsteps until it's all too late.

"Teddy," she murmurs.

He turns around. "Whoa!" he cries out in surprise. "When did you get here?"

"Around four in the morning last night," she explains. "You guys throw really wonderful parties; I've got to give you that."

"Thanks, I guess," he says. "Uh, you want some tea?"

"No, thank you." She pauses for a beat. "Scorpius and I…are over. He's a git. Well, everyone says that so it's really not very original but Merlin, it's so true. He's such a git."

"I know."

"I…just…missed you."

"I know."

"I just—We haven't spoken in ages."

"Listen, Lil, I feel like you've told me this before," he mumbles unsurely, treading on broken glass with her.

She blinks, runs both hands through her hair. "Then let's just say it all, all over again," she whispers, and in seconds she's in his arms and he's kissing her and her fingers are tangled in his hair and his word starts to spin again, faster than ever.

(Dominique lays forgotten, still asleep on the couch, by the way.)

She walks in on them lying together on the roof, sleepy and tired and not exactly clothed.

"Oh. I knew you'd be here," she comments, as though it's nothing that she's just found her boyfriend and his ex-girlfriend, her cousin, naked on the roof of their house. "Well, excuse you guys then."

Lily looks at Teddy, gaping. He closes his eyes tightly. "Shit."

x

i will die alone and be left there
well, i guess i'll just go home
(oh, God knows where)

He finds her sitting on the curb at the very end of the street, all her things stuffed into two large bags. "Come back inside, Dom," he pleads, his hair a solemn black. "Look, let's just talk."

"Go fuck a hippogriff, Theodore Lupin."

He wrinkles his forehead. "That…doesn't exactly make sense."

"Your mum doesn't make sense."

Teddy rolls his eyes. "Now that's just plain impolite, you know my mum is dead."

She makes a face. "Right. Shit. Sorry. But still. Stop speaking to me. I never want to see you again."

"Dominique," he grumbles. "It's cold out here."

"I don't care. I'm homeless, thanks to you and your heartlessness."

"Please, Dom, take your things and come back in."

"Fuck you."

He gets this exhausted and defeated look on his face and gives up after a while. Everyone gives up on her, sooner or later, and it's nothing that is new to her anyway.

(She comes back in, in the middle of the night. Knocks on his door, and crawls into bed beside him, shivering and crying.

"It's cold out there," she mutters to him.

"It's cold everywhere," he tells her, and pulls her in as close as she can get.)

She's gone by morning. Her bags are packed, her room empty. Not even a note. She's just gone.

x

the young man stands on the edge of his porch
the days were short and the father was gone

"I'm sorry, Dad," he shouts into the empty navy sky one night in the roof.

He's never felt more alone in this quiet, lonely house. He looks up and sees nothing but dots of light too far away to matter and he realizes just how irrelevant his story is.

"I'm sorry!" he screams to no one in particular, and yet everyone he deserves to say it to. "I'm sorry."

He crawls back into the house through the window, and never goes on the roof again.

x

weep for yourself, my man
you'll never be what is in your heart

He's sitting—alone—watching the Muggle telly but not really watching it, so he's not exactly in the most attentive mood when she appears in the fireplace along with a puff of green smoke.

"Teddy Lupin, you're the biggest bloody twat in all of London!" her piercing screech comes and unexpectedly, so does a perfectly manicured hand that flies at his face.

With his ears ringing and his face stinging and flying colorful hexes at him and nothing but swear words directed toward him, he notes that it's becoming sort of a habit, getting on Victoire Weasley-Finnigan's bad side, and it's most likely going to be the death of him.

x

and i'll find strength in pain
and i will change my ways
i'll know my name as it's called again

He sees her for the first time in a year on Lucy and Lorcan's son's second birthday. He feels like stranger in this place, and concludes that maybe it's not the place where he belongs.

Everyone looks different again, and yet the same. People are taller, skinnier, fatter, prettier, uglier. People are holding hands with someone different, avoiding someone they'd been friends with before, laughing with someone they'd previously ignored. And he realizes that this is life. It's change. Life is change.

Lily is gone, still in Romania, but she Floos in for a bit, her head bobbing as she wishes Joey Scamander a happy birthday. Scorpius is here, but he holds Albus' hand in his shyly, blushing all the way through as they talk to Rose tentatively. Vic stands against the wall, laughing with her new husband, throwing him a subtle wink when she sees him enter.

And then there she is. She catches his eye instantly, the moment she walks in from the kitchen, rolling her eyes at something Roxanne has said. She sees him a couple seconds after he sees her. Her face falls, for just a second, and then it brightens as she paints a smile across her cheeks and approaches him, Roxy watching her.

"Hey, Ted!" she greets. "Good to see you."

He grins. "You, too, Dom." He takes the time to appreciate her skirt and blouse, the way she carries herself so damn proud and confident, the way she's so illuminated all the time. "You look great."

"Thanks." She coughs. "So do you. How've you been? Is Grimmauld Place still all right?"

"It's no fun without you," he tells her truthfully. "Phineas Nigellus keeps on asking where you are. He misses you. He keeps telling me that he likes you way better than me, the little painted arse-hole. You wouldn't happen to want to come and visit him, just to shut him up?" He can't deny that there is a hint of hope in his voice.

Dominique stops, mulling over her words carefully before she says them. "Tell Phineas that I hate his guts. He always used to bring over old headmasters for tea in the middle of the night to wake me up on purpose. I honestly hope I'm not coming back any time soon."

"Right, then." Teddy blinks and her sincerity, and rubs the back of his neck. "You—uh—cut your hair," he notes.

"It was getting long," she answers back quickly.

"I liked it long," he confesses.

Dominique smiles, like she's holding in a secret. Her lipstick is bright red, but with the way just the corners of her lips curve mischievously, she looks so innocent in that moment. "You liked a lot of things, Lupin," she tells him sweetly, hiding a giggle, and then she walks away with enough mystery for eternity.

this is not the end
lived unbruised we are friends

x

finite.