Happy birthday Nay! This is for you!
Disclaimer: I own naaaathing.
"One, two, three, weeee!"
Teddy smirked as he watched Dominique and Louis swing their niece through the air, the little one squealing with delight, a debonair looking James watching in the background, brown hair flopping into his eyes. When they put her down, she turned to Louis, hit the tight skinny jeans on his legs hard and demanded to be swung again, causing a very strong reminder of her mother in Teddy's memories. He turned to grin at Victoire, who was bouncing another little one on her knee and mashing up some bananas with her wand. "Are they a bit of a handful then?"
"Apolline is," Victoire replied, nodding to the older girl, who was now pulling on one of Dom's plaits, demanding a piggyback. "Artie can behave sometimes, can't you, Smartie?" She tickled the baby's chin just as he dribbled, reminding Teddy why he had never wanted children. She looked up again. "Just to think, Ted, if you'd got your act together he could have been yours."
Teddy knew she was joking; that one kiss they had had on the platform before her seventh year had been a mistake – Teddy had confused their close friendship for love and it had been Victoire who had laughed and pointed out his mistake. It had been her who had pointed out that his sexuality didn't seem to point that way anyway, and she had been more accepting of it than he. But still, when she said that, he couldn't help but pout.
"I never want children," he told her reproachfully, and Victoire laughed. "They're too messy."
"No, you're just OCD." She lifted Artie up and rubbed his back soothingly, before smiling again at Teddy. "Anyway, let's talk about your lovelife."
Teddy groaned. "Let's not."
"Have you met anyone recently?" Victoire asked, and the tired motherly features she had been previously sported were virtually erased by the face of a schoolgirl keen to know of the latest gossip. Teddy put his head in his hands.
"Leave me alone, Weasley."
"Artois," Victoire corrected. "Who are you eying up?"
"Why don't we talk about your cruel naming of children?" Teddy asked hopefully, looking through his fingers at Victoire, whose grin was growing steadily wider. "Artie Artois?"
"It's catchy," shrugged Victoire, and Teddy slumped in his chair. "Oh come on, Teddy. You can't expect me to believe that in three months a handsome man like yourself hasn't picked anyone up at a bar."
"We're not all part-Veela, Vic."
"'We're not all part-Veela, Vic'," mimicked Victoire, pulling a face at him. "Miserable sod. The fact that you're avoiding the question makes me think you have an answer, you just don't want to tell me. Come on, Ted, spill the beans."
Teddy's eyes involuntarily flickered back up to the scene. Dominique was tossing Apolline around, Louis was sitting on James's back with a Quaffle in his hands as James ran around the field. Teddy smirked at the site; James seemed to get fed up and dropped Louis, before flipping his hair back and snapping his fingers, yelling something about sass. He then strutted off to the side, Louis laughing on the ground. James caught Teddy's eye and winked. He inhaled sharply.
"Do you fancy my brother?"
Teddy choked on his own breath. "Louis?"
Victoire had followed his gaze and now stared at Teddy with an expectant smile. He couldn't help but laugh.
"Sorry, Lou?" There was something hysterically funny about that statement. Louis was handsome, yes, but he seemed too much of a pretty boy for Teddy's liking. He was indie, a boy in skinny jeans and cardigans, and whilst he may have been beautiful, Teddy had seen him as a toddler running around screaming unintelligible things and eating worms. It was rather a put off.
"Something wrong with my brother?" Victoire asked, pretending to look offended, before laughing. "But I know what you mean. I don't think he could ever maintain a relationship away from a mirror or a broomstick anyway." She looked back over, eyes fixing on James this time, who had grabbed Louis by the ankle and was now dragging him along the field behind him. "Ah."
Teddy felt his cheeks redden a little and fixed himself instead on rummaging in his bag for something. Victoire didn't need him to say anything to confirm her suspicions. She smiled slightly to herself as she watched her cousin sit on her brother, who was laughing so hard that it led to a violent coughing fit and she wondered briefly if his head would explode. James didn't seem overly fussed at all.
"Well, he is pretty handsome I suppose." Victoire tilted her head to the side and squinted, still bouncing Artie. Teddy pulled a face at her and she grinned. "I'm trying really hard, Ted. I guess he's kind of good-looking. If he was my age... and not my cousin... and... yeah, I could see me fancying him." She pulled a pained expression and Teddy laughed.
"He's got really nice hair, don't you think?" he asked her, perching his chin on the heel of his hand.
"Nicer than mine?" Victoire raised her eyebrows and swished her hair so that it hit him in the face, smelling richly of L'Oreal. Teddy chuckled.
"Obviously not as nice as yours." He reached out to touch it when a voice came from behind him.
"She's a married woman, Lupin, hands off."
He turned to see James smirking behind him, and once again he felt his cheeks flush. Cursing them silently, he met James's eyes. He didn't trust the way they sparkled.
"So," he said, sitting next to Teddy and stretching his arm out behind him, Teddy edging slowly further away from him, "you and Vic. I see. Trying to whisk her away, are you Ted?"
"Of course," Teddy said dryly. "Secretly I've been lying all these years about my sexuality, that way she'd never cotton on and I could steal her to my grotto."
James's smile widened. "You have a grotto? What a classy pervert you are." He leaned across Teddy and patted Victoire's hand. "Go keep an eye on your daughter, Toire. Louis's dying and Dom's doing her hair." He jarred a thumb at where Louis lay, still laughing, and Dominique stood examining her nails, Apolline teetering off into the distance. Victoire scooped up Artie and rushed after her daughter, leaving James and Teddy on the bench alone, Teddy only too aware of how close James was sitting to him.
"You look strangely good with ordinary hair," James said, ruffling Teddy's brunette crop. "I like it."
"More than turquoise?" Teddy tilted his head to the side, pushing James's hand away. James's hand lingered in his for a second, eyes meeting his.
"Well, it's questionable," James said, before breaking the gaze. Teddy closed his eyes and breathed in deeply. "I suppose I like your trademark. I'm just surprised at how attractive you manage to remain. I thought you wanted flamboyant hair to make you more interesting." He reached across to touch his hair again, hand resting in it.
"I guess that's a compliment." He wondered if James could hear the obvious breathlessness to his voice. Swallowing, he pushed James's hand out of his hair and grinned. "Darling, stop with the ruffling. I can see why your brother gets pissed off with you."
"He gets pissed off with everyone, smarmy Slytherin," James replied, smirking. "And I'm not violent to your hair. I actually enjoy touching it."
"And you called me a pervert."
"Your hair is lustrous, what do you do to it?"
"That's a very personal question," Teddy said, raising his eyebrows. James leaned towards him.
"Maybe I want to be personal."
Teddy edged away from him. "You're making no sense today."
"I make perfect sense," James said, following him along the bench. Teddy cursed as he ran out of room to shuffle. "Do stop running away Theodore." He placed a hand on Teddy's thigh, a hand that made Teddy clench his teeth. "It's very distracting."
"James, will you stop fucking about?"
"Who says anyone's fucking about?" James raised questioning eyebrows, moving his head closer. "You know Teddy, you should stop being so protective." His face was millimetres from Teddy's; Teddy could feel warm breath on his cheeks.
Across the park, Victoire had caught up with her daughter and swept her into her arms, where she immediately made a grab for Artie whilst their mother looked up, a small smile playing at her lips.
"Times move fast," she murmured as she watched her cousin and her best friend tumble from the picnic bench.