Chapter Five: Home for the Holidays
Victoire spent the next nine days highly anticipating her return home. She could not believe how long each day seemed to be. Teddy was the only subject on her mind. Even her school lessons that she had learned managed to hide behind the only topic that flooded her mind and invaded her subconscious. She could not help but feel an overwhelming surge of excitement to see her deeply missed boyfriend.
The Hogwarts express was decorated with various seasonal decorations that enriched the Christmas spirit. Red and green streamers hung from the conventional ceiling of the train, brightly lit lights boarded the frames of the compartment doors, the candy trolley now had all Christmas themed snacks and the well known seasonal music travelled eloquently throughout the express. And on top of all of the materialistic improvements, every individual student was charged with cheerful energy that added completion to the Christmas spirit.
The train came to a slow halt and hundreds of excited children began exiting onto the equally decorated platform. By the time all nine of the Weasley and Potter kids bade farewell to their friends and met up with each other, the majority of the parents and kids had left.
"There they are!" a young female voice, which was recognizable Lily's, squealed delightfully when she spotted her siblings and cousins. Before Victoire had time to turn her attention in the direction in which the noise was coming from, three small bodies were sprinting towards them.
"Lily, Hugo, Roxy! How are you? We missed you guys," Victoire said enthusiastically. The three children beamed at them, clearly thrilled at the reuniting of their family.
"Good, it was really boring without you guys around though," Lily replied truthfully.
Victoire looked past the children and saw the rest of her family standing in the distance, next to the platform barrier. There stood her parents, uncle Harry, Aunt Ginny, Uncle Ron, Aunt Hermione, Uncle Percy, Aunt Audrey, Uncle George and Aunt Angelina. However, Teddy was nowhere to be seen.
"Where's Teddy?" She asked the concern in her voice evident.
"Er..." this question obviously put Lily in an awkward position.
"He's working. He's really busy," Roxanne quickly added, a sense of panic sounded in her words.
Victoire knew that Roxanne was not telling the truth. She may be George's daughter, but she was not the best at lying. Victoire knew Teddy and even if he was busy with work, he would have spared a couple of hours to meet his girlfriend at the train station. They loved each other.
She frowned, attempting with great force to hold back her tears. They all strolled towards their parents, preparing for the abundance of greetings that awaited them. Before long, they were ushered into tight, suffocating hugs from their parents, aunts and uncles.
"Mum, please! You're acting like we were gone for years," Fred exclaimed, his voice muffled in his mother's shirt.
"I'm sorry! We just missed you kids so much. So how is school going?" Angelina asked the children, who looked exhausted from the intense greetings.
"It's alright. Sorry we were late. We had to wait for Rose to say goodbye to her boyfriend," James teased and his cousin's face suddenly resembled one of the Gryffindor house colours. Besides her obvious embarrassment, she glared at James and said, "He's not my boyfriend James! He's just a friend! He's Al's friend too."
"Yes, but I don't see Al alone with him in a dimly lit corridor almost every night."
"Rose Weasley! Who is this boy that you have been sneaking around the castle at night with?" Ron said, his temper slowly rising.
"Dad calm down! He's a friend of mine and Al's. And we are not –"
"He's some blond Slytherin kid in year one," James interrupted. "Her and Malfoy have been with each other since the first day," it was now apparent that James was trying to anger his younger cousin.
"JAMES SIRIUS POTTER!" James was taken aback by her sudden, overwhelmingly loud outburst. "WHY CAN'T YOU JUST SHIT UP? WE ARE JUST FRIENDS, NOTHING MORE! AND EVEN IF WE WERE, IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?"
"Calm down Rosie. I'm just stating what I saw. Anyways, I don't –"
"James, just stop it. Why do you always have to do this? Don't forget, you and Fred are still punished. Do you want to extend your punishment?" Ginny warned. Her warning proved to be successful as James innocently bowed his head and said, "Sorry mum. Sorry Rose."
"Dad? I'm –" Rose began, looking at the stress in her father's eyes.
"We'll discuss this when we get home, Rose. We are all going to grandma and grandpa's house for dinner," Ron explained to her as well as his nieces and nephews.
"That's right. We better get going. We don't want to be late or grandma won't be too happy with us," Percy said. The other adults nodded in agreement and the twenty-two Weasleys left the station, the children excitedly discussing their previous experiences at school and their upcoming holiday. With the exception of Rose, who was left in a miserable state and continuously scowling at James. When they exited to the parking lot, the five families separated to their own vehicles and headed to the Burrow where a great feast awaited them.
"Mum? Dad? Where is Teddy?" Victoire asked when they entered the car. This question has been bothering her ever since she got off the train. Even James and Rose's argument wasn't enough to distract her from her anxious thoughts about Teddy.
"He's very busy, Vic. He wasn't able to come," the simplicity in her father's voice gave her the impression that he did not care. In fact, it didn't seem like any of her family cared that this was gnawing at her very core.
For the entire car ride Victoire remained silent. Her brother and sister were delightfully discussing their adventures at Hogwarts with their parents. She envied her family's happiness. Why didn't Teddy show up? She had been looking forward to this day every since their departure in September.
They were the last to arrive at the Burrow. Victoire thought there was something peculiar about the situation that was presented before her. Her whole family, with the exception of her grandparents, stood shivering outside in a temperature that was perfectly capable of freezing a scorching glass of butterbeer.
"Our parents won't let us inside," Fred explained to Victoire, Dominique and Louis when they entered the huddled group. He turned back to the adults and whined, "Come on, we're dying out here!"
"Sorry guys, but we had to wait until everyone arrived," George said, and all of the children gave an unwelcoming glare at Victoire and her family. "And now that we're all here..." George substituted the remainder of his words with a knock on the door. The sound of Molly Weasley's voice invited them inside and the children breathed a great sigh of relief.
Although that sigh of relief was quickly replaced by a herd of surprised expressions and unexpected gasps. The burrow had been transformed into a true winter wonderland. The ceiling had been bewitched to make it appear as if snowflakes were descending upon them, a beautifully decorated Christmas tree stood proud and tall in the center of the living room, and various impressive decorations infested the house. Many of them were magically enchanted. A decorative ice rink sat on the coffee table and two small penguins, undoubtedly in love, skated side by side around the rink. However, the thing that really caught them off guard was an enormous banner that hung over the entrance to the Burrow and as they opened the door it chanted, "Welcome home! Welcome home! Christmas is here! You were gone for so long, but now let's go cheer!" The burrow has always been augmented with the Christmas spirit at this time of year but this was unusual even for the Weasleys. And it was clear that Victoire was not the only one thinking this as Lucy piped up, "Grandma, this all looks wonderful! But I don't understand. What is so different about this year?"
"Well, dear, there is nothing particularly special about this year. It's a combination of things really. It's Victoire's last year at school and Rose and Al's first, we were blessed with a very white Christmas this year and I read about various decorating ideas in Witch Weekly" Molly replied. She then turned her attention to Victoire and said, "I think there is a present for you waiting up stairs. You should go see what it is."
Victoire was slightly confused, but she proceeded in the direction of the stairs. When she arrive there, more amazement rushed over her. The wooden stairs were covered in a pure, white blanket of snow. However, the snow was just an allusion because when Victoire stepped on it, she could only feel the hard wood on her socked feet. Icicles (which also proved to be an allusion) and Christas lights, in the colours of white and blue, hung from the railing and lead all the way up to the top flood. Victoire was about halfway up the stairs when her heart melts with compassion. There he stood, on the highest step, smiling down at her. She sprinted up the remaining steps and flung herself around Teddy.
"Surprise!" the enthusiasm in his voice made Victoire realize that he had missed her just as much as she had missed him. She remained in his arms for the next several minutes.
"This is for you. You can open it now or at Christmas," Teddy said as he handed her a neatly wrapped present. It wasn't big, but she felt the burning urge to open it at that moment. She tore apart the paper faster than was probably necessary. She opened a small box and her eyes widened in astonishment. It was a magnificent gold necklace that read, in beautiful cursive writing, "Remember that I will always love you - Teddy".
"And when you start to miss me, the message will change to 'We will see each other soon, I promise'," tears of delight filled her eyes as she passionately kissed him.
"Oh, Teddy! This is beautiful! I got off the train and I didn't see you waiting for me. Roxy and my dad said you were too busy to come. I was so upset," it was clear that Victoire was immensely relieved to see her boyfriend.
"They knew where I was and they couldn't tell you because it would ruin the surprise. Vic, I'm sorry I worried you. I want you to know that I'm never too busy for you," Teddy said. Victoire took a deep breath and smiled, her eyes glistening with the remaining tears. She gazed into the stunning, vibrant eyes that smiled back at her, and said softly, "I know".
Okay so I'm done :) The end. Sorry I made James seem like such a jerk. He really isn't, I really like James. He can just be annoying sometimes lol. Anyways, hope you enjoyed it. I'll try an get another story up soon :)