Everything Shines (Teddy Lupin)
Rating: R, for sensual themes
Word count: ~ 5500 words
Summary: Teddy Lupin waits for Victoire Weasley to come back from an internship, only to be faced with a proposition.
A/N Part 3 of the ‘Ten Seductions' series. Ladies and gentlemen, be warned. Fluff ahead.
: : : :
Teddy Lupin had been waiting for her. He’d been waiting for yesterday to happen for six months now. As he kicked off his shoes, an antique clock chimed behind the wall. Its deep and brassy notes faintly echoed in the room he’d rented for the night.
The more he thought about it, the more he believed impatience to be a sorry state of mind to maintain himself into. All that focused waiting for yesterday had been pointless, because the big deal was in fact today.
Victoire Weasley had been away for a few months, but it might have been a year or a thousand. Her absence had unsettled him. Flipping through the calendar and calculating the weeks before her return was a proof of his desperate longing, if not his neediness.
He was not needy. He loathed needy.
In hopes to forget how many days separated her from him, Teddy had hid the calendar in his underpants’ drawer, only to reach for it every time he got an Owl from her. He’d stared at the square, the yesterday square, scarred with his handwriting.
The few words he’d jotted down did not reflect the agitation they stirred.
V is back.
He’d tried to replace his nonsensical staring at the calendar for a reread of her neatly scripted letters. He’d lost himself in her accounts of healing practice in the jungle, desperately trying to share her excitement as she was sharing the daily minutiae of her life far away from them, from him, as she was recipient to knowledge that was not taught anywhere in Europe.
It worried him. He could feel her blooming between the lines. She was becoming more vibrant, shinier…as if she could. Evocating the dimple in her cheek when she smiled or the soft tuft of raspberry blond hair at the confluent of her thighs was enough to trigger a familiar ache that had him recreating feelings and images, pictures so translucent that he wondered if they captured moments that happened at all.
But they did. They had. He could invoke smells and sounds behind his closed eyelids when laying in bed, when working late on a translation at Gringotts, or when waiting in line to pay for books at Flourish & Blotts.
‘I love you,’ she’d breathed out on the eve of her departure. He’d pulled back from her and watched her long and luminous nudity against the bed sheets. She’d laughed at his expression, and when she’d realized he’d been miffed about her mocking him, she’d brought her hand to his lips. ‘You know I love you…please don’t make that face, Teddy. I will be back.’
He had not been able to voice his feelings as ardently as he would have wanted to, consumed he had been in keeping himself together as he’d reached for her body for the last time before she left for six months.
He’d wanted to last forever. That way, she’d never have had to leave.
It had not been the first time their bodies and minds had meshed together so perfectly, but it might as well have been. Making love ten times is barely the beginning, he thought as he pulled off his socks, irritated.
Teddy had plans; they were just getting used to each other, just starting to get their stride. It had taken a few years to figure out how much Victoire meant to him. He had broken her heart on his way there, and he wasn’t proud of that.
It took too long, he supposed, but he wondered if this wasn’t the sad commonality of every love story. He’d asked his grandmother several times to recount what she knew of the misunderstandings and complications his parents undertook for him to be alive.
Making love with Victoire had blown his mind. He had known her all his life, and yet, he saw her truly for the first time when they passed themselves as newlyweds before a suspicious inn owner, just before they nervously removed their clothing in a room the size of a matchbox.
Lovers. He secretly liked the word, and he used it in a half-serious, half-joking way when he was alone with her. Victoire never failed to roll her eyes to the ceiling with an exaggerated sigh. ‘You make it sound like we’re fifty.’
Whatever she thought about it, he had the word in mind whenever he spoke about Victoire. He hoped it would give him gravity and perhaps influence his grandmother’s unwillingness to concede how serious their relationship was. How many times had those seemingly happy couples surrounding him made love in their life together? How much lovemaking equalled a lifelong bond? As he found himself studying how men and women moved around each other, he’d tried to keep the embarrassing specifics at bay, but he couldn’t help but to wonder.
The inn’s room was cramped, and he pointed his wand decisively at the window. A hot breeze whipped into the room. He stared at the flapping curtains. Holding on to the last night they slept in the arms of the other was perhaps his wicked way to allow himself to cling to a fantasy, his fearful resolve to keep the past alive and to avert the reality of his girlfriend coming back home metamorphosed and unrecognizable.
Teddy hadn’t been worthless during this time, whatever his friends had hinted at. He had been translating financial records from Gobbledegook to English and French, thanks to the recommendation from Victoire’s father to a Gringotts’ administrator. He spent his nights learning languages and obscure dialects, working with words like others enjoyed puzzles. Truly, he’d been living a busy but peaceful life between his beloved books and dictionaries, giving his grandmother a few hours of his time to help her with her thriving healing herbs business, and enjoying animated dinners with the Potters and occasionally with Victoire’s parents.
She had been training in a dispensary in the depths of the Amazon rainforest and learning complicated healing magic from shamans. She had been moving forward while he had the bitter feeling he had resorted to well-known strengths and not looking so much to move pass them.
The room he had rented at The Jolly Shonny Inn was not as inviting as he thought it would be. Walls had been covered with tacky wallpaper showcasing plump and red-cheeked fairies, and he wryly thought to himself that it had probably had to be charmed there for good reasons. He pulled out a book from his bag, and he leaned back into the lumpy mattress.
Gobbledegook idioms eluded him as the sentences slipped from his attention. Victoire was hiding between every page, behind every comma. During the hoopla of her return last night, he’d whispered his invitation in the corridor separating her parents’ sitting room and kitchen. She’d smiled in a way that had brought his knees closer to the floor. ‘Of course. Of course, Teddy, I’ll meet you there.’
And he was there. The glass vibrated under the force of the wind, but he didn’t bother looking up to the window.
Teddy Lupin was waiting for her, waiting again today, waiting for Victoire Weasley to open the door and to, he hoped, reveal something about himself.
Yesterday was all about flutter and fleeting while he expected certitude and grounding. He had planned his day carefully: a quick jog, a boiling-hot shower, the usual Sunday meet-up with friends at The Leaky Cauldron for a hearty breakfast, and his departure for Shell Cottage around noon. He had even bought a new cloak for the occasion.
Victoire had Owled her parents with her travelling plans, and her father had informed him that it was reasonable to expect her early in the afternoon. However, Teddy’s plans had gone haywire ten seconds before his charmed alarm clock had went off.
A threatening grey bird had flown in his room in a great mess of feathers, landing on his bed and pecking him viciously on the shoulder. Teddy had read with dread the Owl urging him to drop by the bank for some unexpected and urgent work. He’d been promised extra Galleons for his troubles as well as his Monday off.
He’d Flooed from his grandmother’s house for the Bank in a hurry, badly shaven and his hair sticking up in three directions. He’d translated several reports at top speed, and his daily run had been replaced by a frantic pacing from his office to Gringotts’ archives to finally drop his work on his boss’ table. He nurtured the hope he could leave as soon as the parchments were magically embossed and sealed, only to be shown the way back to his desk with extra work.
Time was ticking away, and with relief he finally Apparated on the lawn surrounding Shell Cottage. The house’s windows had been opened to let the air in, and the curtains flapped from inside out as if trying to escape.
He didn’t have to look around to know that the extended Weasley family had already arrived. Voices could be heard coming from behind the house, facing the sea. People were scattered on the lawn in small groups; many lounged on chairs in the shade, while James was chasing Albus and Hugo under the bright sun, driving them dangerously close to Victoire’s mother's prized and thorny hawthorn bushes.
Teddy waved back at Victoire’s parents, who had seen him arrive, and he lifted his hand again when others joined them. He took a few steps towards the porch. Harry sat in the stairs with his head down as he fiddled with a Chocolate Frog wrapping. Lily wiggled to his side, wrapped around his left arm.
‘Ah, not my card again… Teddy!’ Harry stretched a hand to greet him, and Teddy shook it with affection. Harry had a way of making him feel welcome, even when it had been clear that some days he had his hands full with his own family. ‘Good to see you. How’s work?’
‘Busy, but good…I think. The Goblins are satisfied, not that they let me know about it.’
‘Yes, I can figure.’ Harry chuckled and handed the card to his daughter, who put it away absent-mindedly. ‘My offer still stands, you know. There would be a place for you in the Auror training program.’
Teddy flattened his hair with embarrassment. Since he finished school two years ago, Harry had been hinting that he, a smart student with excellent transfiguration skills and an impressive talent for languages, would be a welcome addition to the Auror squad. Many friends had been heckling him to take the offer and run with it. As for himself, Teddy had invested a great deal of energy to not get himself brought into such idea.
He couldn’t bring himself to do so. His grandmother never failed to gaze at the picture of his mother on the mantle whenever Aurors were mentioned in casual conversation.
‘Thanks… but I’m not sure I’m Auror material, honestly.’ He avoided Harry’s frown to hastily grin at Lily. He’d noticed with amusement that she seemed to have taken to blushing while in his presence. ‘What’s happening with you, flower? Have you got a sunstroke?’
She let out a giggle behind her hand when he matched his hair to hers for a few seconds. ‘Hullo, Teddy.’
‘I won’t insist, now. But… you know I will, eventually. ’ Something boyish and teasing lighted up Harry’s eyes for a second before he handed his daughter half of the Chocolate Frog. ‘Lily was telling me how sad she was you can’t join us for dinner tomorrow.’
‘Daddy!’ the girl squeaked.
Teddy scratched his neck and winked at Lily. He peered around as he remembered all of a sudden the reason why he was standing there. ‘I hope I didn’t miss Victoire’s arrival.’
‘No worries.’ Again, Harry smiled pleasantly as he pulled his daughter closer to him. ‘You didn’t miss her. She’s late.’
Teddy didn’t hear the faint pop at his back. He watched with a deepening frown the mass of Weasleys coming his way waving excitedly, walking and running, Fleur trotting ahead with her arms wide open.
‘VICTOIRE! Ma chérie! Viens ici que je t’embrasse …Oh! You cut your ‘air!’
Victoire had been away for six months. As he spun on his heels, Teddy thought arrivals were wondrous things. She had returned in a split second as if she never went away.
His heart skipped a beat when he detailed her. Her lithe frame was even lither (he couldn’t resist peeking at her breasts, small and high under her light jumper), and her usually pale skin had taken a deep golden hue. The heavy mass of hair he loved had been chopped away, and soft locks now barely touched her cheekbones. Lustrous feathers dangled from her ears, grazing her shoulders when she opened her arms to her mother.
Victoire was back. She had changed. Yet, she smiled at him over her mother’s shoulder, and he smiled back, afraid that his face would break in two parts, relieved that her eyes were as telling as before.
‘You cut your ‘air!’ Fleur cried out again, kissing her daughter on both cheeks before crushing her in a tight embrace. ‘Tu es superbe, chérie.’
Victoire had dropped her haversack with haste to accept her parents' and siblings’ hugs. ‘So good to see you, Mum! Papa! I love your new glasses! Yeah, the hair…It’s more practical this way, Mum. Dominique! Louis! Oh my goodness – you got to be kidding me…the entire family is here!’
‘She’s so thin,’ Teddy heard her grandmother say under her breath as she passed him. ‘I’m sure she forgot to eat…she’s exactly like Bill at this age, skin and bones.’
Lily slipped her hand in Teddy’s, prompting him to lean towards her. ‘Is Aunt Fleur mad because Vee cut her hair?’
‘No, no.’ Victoire was being kissed and hugged every two steps she took, but her gaze was directed at him, and he shifted his weight from one leg to the other, impatient to hold her in his arms. ‘She’s a little overwhelmed, that’s all. She says she looks beautiful.’
‘Why does Aunt Fleur look so mad, then?’ Lily twirled a lock out of her hair, her pretty features crunched from wondering. ‘She can be so scary sometimes.’
Before Teddy could voice his views, a brutal clap in the back had him groaning. Harry’s oldest son, James, was standing behind him with an attitude full of swagger. ‘Why? Well, she’s French, for one.’
He messed with his sister’s hair before winking at Teddy. Teddy rolled his eyes dutifully, trying hard not to laugh. James had morphed into a tall, sarcastic teen. ‘How’s it hanging?’
‘I’m hanging all right. Merlin, James –‘
‘That’s a rather prejudiced thing to say, ya know.’ Lily had let go of Teddy’s hand. She combed the stray hairs with her fingers before crossing her arms, her eyes fiery and her lips thinned into a straight line, eerily reminiscent of her father’s. ‘Aunt Fleur being French has nothing to with her temper.‘
‘Yeah, yeah.’ James waved dismissively. He snorted when his sister addressed him a scolding look. ‘It’s what we educated souls call a joke, Lily. You really need to find yourself this pretty thing we call a sense of humour to appreciate that.’
‘Pff.’ Lily rolled her eyes towards the sky, and Teddy rubbed his face with both hands. He felt old. Lily’s year at Hogwarts had given her confidence. She used to be silent as a mouse, and everything he heard from her last year through the news her slightly surprised parents relayed him had to do with her newfound leadership. ‘Sir Sense of Humour here had a crush on a French girl while we were on holidays last summer, and since she never wrote back, he decided all French girls are mad.’
A violent blush took over James’ face and he took a step towards his sister. ‘Why, you little –‘
‘Enough,’ Teddy spoke with enough authority for his younger counterparts to brood and exchange scathing glares. They kept silent for a moment, until James elbowed him as Victoire accepted an enthusiastic hug from his mother.
‘Fancy that.’ While Teddy loved Ginny a great deal, he wished she would let his girlfriend go already. ‘Mum never welcomes me like that after a semester at Hogwarts. She expects me to clean my room from floor to ceiling…it’s not like it’s dirty, you know. I haven’t been in there for, like, months.’
‘So now we know… James wants more kisses from mummy,’ Lily said conversationally, and this time, Teddy chuckled while James shrugged it off, pink-faced, muttering a few choice words about irritating sisters who couldn’t hold their bloody tongues.
‘Vee is so pretty,’ Lily dreamily murmured.
‘I agree,’ Teddy said. And then Victoire stood before him. ‘I agree.’
But that was yesterday. Yesterday he had kissed her chastely on the lips, had held her against him under the unflinching gaze of her father, and had kissed her again. He had to share her with everyone. He’d been itching to be alone with her.
Then he did not have to wait anymore. ‘Teddy?’
Her voice was muffled but shaped into a smile through the door, and he jumped from the bed, tripping over the scattered shoes and socks. The door opened wide as his heart, and he took her smile like an uppercut.
‘Teddy!’ He moved back a step or two as Victoire wrapped her arms around his neck, and he muttered, ‘About bloody time,’ before scooping her off the floor and pulling her in. The door closed in a bang.
‘I missed you so, so much,’ Victoire breathed against his cheek. He couldn’t speak. He didn’t want to speak. He wanted to greet her with his mouth and hands, with the length of his body. He detailed her face and the delicate lines around her eyes. She seemed tired, but in the light bathing the room, she glowed.
Her tee went off quickly over her head, and he stared at her as she panted slightly, already half-naked, her smile wide and tender. The smell of her skin went to his head, as if she had showered herself in something exotic and musky.
‘Whoa,’ Teddy exhaled. His hand slowly moved up from her waist to cup a pert breast and to tease its nipple with the flesh of his thumb. ‘That’s quite a way to say hullo.’
Victoire pressed herself against him, her mouth searching his. ‘What, don’t you want to-‘
: : : :
Teddy lay on his stomach, his hands under his chin. The lumpy mattress had been stripped of its bed sheets, the remnants of their dinner abandoned on a platter haphazardly set on a chair. Their clothing had been scattered on the floor less than two minutes after Victoire had arrived.
He sighed happily as he detailed the soft, golden curve of Victoire’s back. She gave out a shiver and flashed him a smile before chomping on an apple with obvious glee. ‘Mad how much you don’t care for chtuff until you actually mich it,’ she managed to say, her left cheek bulging from a big piece of apple.
Teddy rolled to his side and said nothing, holding out a hand to stroke her thigh up to her hip. Sun had come down hours ago, and he felt at peace in the feebly lit room. The last hours had been bursting at the seams, sated with sighs, moans, and chatter. He loved to look at her as she sat naked on the bed like this, laughing and eating. He wished the inn’s bedroom had been theirs.
She noticed his dreamy gaze. ‘Sooo…’ she trailed on with a wink.
He smiled devilishly as he pinched her hip with mischievousness. ‘Sooo…’
Her eyebrows went up, and Teddy knew her well enough to understand that whatever could have brewed between the lines was over. ‘My father told me all about your last successes.’
Her father. The sensual appeal of the moment was definitely gone. He yawned. ‘Your father’s too kind.’
‘I don’t think so. Papa happens to be pretty demanding.’ She flicked the apple core into the platter before licking her fingers clean. ‘As I am –you told me numerous times, didn't you? He’s not impressed easily. He told me last night how you replaced the Goblins’ official interpreter on the spot when a Russian delegation visited Gringotts last week.’
‘Yeah, poor Gornak. He had a mild case of Dragon Pox.’ It hasn’t been an easy assignment. Russian wasn’t a language he mastered completely, but he had focused on listening to the delegation intently before uttering anything. He then replicated what he heard. ‘It’s my job, Vee.’
‘No, it’s not your job.’ Victoire shifted in the bed and faced him. He allowed his eyes to move down to her breasts. ‘Papa told me you were spectacular. The delegation couldn’t believe you weren’t Russian. Papa said that your attitude helped Gringotts tremendously in making the exchange of the artefacts.’
‘Tsk.’ He scooted on the bed and dropped a kiss high on her thigh. It was hard not to gloat, but he had done a great job, and he knew it. ‘My job.’
She clicked her tongue as she leaned back on the bed. ‘Why do you still work at the bank as a freelancer? I don’t understand why you don’t use more of your abilities. You could easily go into international magical cooperation.’
‘So Papa Bill said that, uh?’ he let out, a smidge of irritation in his voice. It occurred to him that most people around him had a very clear idea of what he should –or should not- be doing with his life. Victoire bringing this up here, of all places, made his cheeks burn.
‘No.’ Victoire bit in the word. ‘Hermione said it, actually. You’re good with people, Teddy.’
He snorted. Strange how a six-month absence did not lay old quibbles to rest.
‘It’s in your nature,’ she insisted. ‘You understand people. You really get them.’
He shook his head slowly before speaking. ‘It’s in my… Metamorphagus nature, you mean?’
‘No!’ Victoire escaped his hands. She got to her feet and faced him her fists on her hips. The feathers dangled fiercely from her ears, and he commanded himself to look her in the eye. ‘It’s you I’m talking about, Teddy. You also happen to be a Metamorphagus, but I’d really like you to stop insinuating that it’s the only thing I see of you.’
‘But it all comes down to this. That’s what I am, right?’ He raked his hair roughly before he stared at her again, his cheeks ablaze. ‘D’you know how many people come to me with their mouths full of compliments and snide insinuations about how I’m not living my life fully if I don’t transform myself at least fifty times a day? Even Harry thinks that.’
As soon as the words slipped through his lips, he felt guilty. Harry had never said anything as such. He always praised Teddy’s smart and shrewd mind, but Teddy knew enough about his godfather’s job to understand how a Metamorphagus would be of tremendous help with the Auror Squad.
‘Well, I don’t believe that one minute.’ She shook her head, and the feathers danced over her shoulders again. ‘Uncle Harry loves you like his son. I’m most certain he wants you to be successful. You’re not allowing him – or anyone for that matter -- to think highly of you. That’s a mad idea, because whatever you do or say, we’ll think it anyways.’
‘It’s the old Gryffindor prejudice that motivates him – and you Weasley lot, I suppose. The whole ‘do your heroic best‘ shebang.’
Victoire stared at him incredulously before chortling. ‘You know, I never thought about this, but you could be right.’ She kneeled on the bed, and he reached out for her. ‘We Gryffindor nuts don’t know what to do with brainy and independent Ravenclaws. At least you opened the door for Hugo.’
He grinned slightly, relieved to see her lose her fire. ‘You tell me. You’re a brainy and independent Gryffindor.’
She snorted and looked down at the mattress, the corners of her mouth sagging a little. ‘You know I love you, Teddy. I only want –‘
‘I know,’ he interrupted her. He felt like he had to say something to justify himself. ‘I like translating stuff right now. I don’t want to move into a career too fast.’
The eventuality of a career, with its steady path and one direction – up -- made him restless. It was a form of commitment he wished not to take just now.
‘Okay,’ she whispered.
‘I’m not like you. You’ve had your mind set on what you wanted to do when you were this tiny little girl.’ He shook his head, a somewhat forced grin stretching his lips. ‘I’ve always wondered if us playing Healer in your room had any influence on that.’
She blushed and laughed raucously as she fell in his arms, finally. ‘You’re the first boy I kissed,’ she murmured, and he pressed his lips on the top of her head. ‘I do miss your blue hair. Lily told me you wouldn’t change it anymore.’
‘The blue hair I kept for you, Vee. Only for you.’ He closed his eyes and chuckled when he felt her fingers tracing small circles against his scalp.
‘Love it,’ she whispered in a sigh. ‘Love you.’
‘Love you, too,’ he muttered.
‘I’m going back to Brazil, Teddy.’
He opened his eyes wide. ‘What?’
‘I’m going back.’ Her fingers slipped from his hair to his torso, only to stroke the fine line of hair leading to his navel. ‘I have to.’
‘You don’t have to,’ he gasped as he prompted himself on one elbow, brushing away her fingers.
What was she saying? His mind was already unravelling about how to convince her to move into a flat together, a little place just for them where they could walk naked all the time and eat supper in bed, surrounded by books.
He just got her back to understand he couldn’t make her stay. Saying goodbye and parting with her again.
‘When I was there, I saw…I saw incredible feats of magic.’ Teddy fidgeted as he detailed her curiously. Her smile had vanished. She was frowning slightly and looking up at the ceiling, suddenly miles away from him and the cramped bedroom. ‘Those shamans who trained us use magic I need to learn, complicated incantations I need to master if I am to specialise in Healing magical wounds.’
Teddy snorted unpleasantly. ‘Oh…I know where you’re going with this.’
She smacked her lips, flustered. ‘Well, yes. They know a lot about werewolves, Teddy, more than our Healers do.’
He turned his back to her. ‘Nothing can be done once you’ve been bitten. You were talking about nature earlier. I thought you knew that.’
She was infuriating.
Victoire had been obsessed with werewolves her whole life, reading everything she could put her hands on and shove it in his face, only to get increasingly angry at the same information she found everywhere, and never failing to buy every damn book she encountered on the subject. She seemed to think that he had interest in the question.
He had worked very hard to convince himself he didn’t.
Victoire’s voice sounded dreamy, and he tried not to pay attention too much by staring at the garish wallpaper. ‘Apparently, there could be. I’ve heard several promising things about a small village of old wizards. They are all werewolves, Teddy. They had been shunned from their homes years ago, and some say they do not need Wolfsbane Potion to control themselves. There might be some way to contain aspects of the curse.’
She touched his shoulder. ‘It’s complicated magic and highly hypothetical, but I need to make an idea about that for myself.'
‘How long will you be gone?’ he asked dully.
‘A year?’ He sat upright on the bed, furious. ‘You can’t go for a year! Not –‘ he struggled with the words, ‘not when you just came home! Not on a hunch!’
‘I won’t be going tomorrow. I have two weeks off, then I’ll have at least eight months of intensive training at St. Mungo’s before I go back.’ She sighed. ‘We’re not going on a hunch, Teddy. It’s an official expedition. We will be going as a delegation, and I decided to sign up as an assistant to get some extra credits. Come with me.’
‘I’m not a Healer.’
‘Of course you’re not, but I want you to come with me!’
He stared at her. Her chest heaving from indignation, Victoire pushed back a wisp of hair barring her forehead. ‘I told Healer Babcock earlier today that I knew someone who could learn languages quickly. We’ll need someone to help us with communication, and she wants you to meet up with her tomorrow. There will be lots of stories and testimonies to get from those wizards, so we’ll need someone non-threatening and gentle, and a good writer, and - ’
‘Ah, you want to find me a job. Most excellent. Can’t make it to the meeting, love. I’m working tomorrow.’
‘You are such a liar! You’re off tomorrow, you told everyone!’ Victoire exclaimed, patches of red blotching her neck. ‘I have a brain, I use it! You’re insanely talented with languages, so stop pretending it’s nothing and use it! Come with me to Brazil!’
‘You’ve got this all decided, right?’
‘Yes.’ Her gaze was hard as glass. ‘Just think about it, Teddy. Please tell me you will.’
He shook his head, and she urgently touched his hand. ‘And you could learn something about yourself. About –‘
‘About my father?’ Teddy feebly said. ‘I know all I need to know.’
He believed that, forcefully and against all good sense. He rubbed his face with both hands. He was a memory away from a gloomy afternoon when he had blood on his robes after angrily cursing two students, desperately trying to forget the continuous insinuations a small group of snickering six-years had made about his parents.
Werewolves don’t breed, Lupin. Who’s your daddy, then? Was Mum sleeping around?
Teddy had waited in old Professor Binns' office for his grandmother to thunder out of the chimney in order to give him an angry speech, but had been utterly bewildered to see Harry step out in full Auror gear, his face pale and his green eyes gleaming.
Teddy had stared at him with his heart drumming until Harry opened his arms to him, and he ran into them, forgetting he was fifteen and a Prefect. He had cried his heart out and slobbered all over Harry’s shoulder until he had stepped back for a second to wipe his nose, enough time for his godfather to pull something out of his robes.
Teddy had been presented with a picture of four young men, one looking uncannily like a younger Harry, and one he recognized with a wince.
Your father faced his demons, Teddy. He was your father, and I’m as sure of that as I am sure that Voldemort died. Look at him. You are like him, whatever features you may take.
‘My parents are war heroes.’ He controlled himself to keep his voice even and calm. ‘My godfather is The Boy Who Lived.’
‘So?’ Victoire threw her arms up. ‘So? We’re doomed, Teddy. We’re surrounded by war heroes. If we need to look up for inspiration or to understand what terrible underachievers we’ll become, we just have to ask someone for the cabbage dish and we’ll have one smiling at us.’
He scoffed. When he met her eyes, they both roared with laugher and they rolled on the bed together.
They kissed softly, less urgently that they did earlier, and Teddy was about to throw every rational thought out the window when Victoire muttered again, ‘Just think, Teddy….you and me. Alone. Without my parents and your Gran. Together every night…like this.’
‘Why would they take me?’ He gulped as she pulled him down on the mattress. ‘Why me? I’ve got no training, I’m a self-learner…’
‘I can’t seem to make you understand this. You’re unbelievably thick-headed,’ she whispered. Her mouth grazed his shoulder lightly before she rolled over him. He stared at her face, her swollen lips, her expressive eyes, and he ran his hands down her back, cupping her buttocks. His breath hitched when she parted her legs and straddled him, the intimacy of the position triggering a twitch in his loins.
‘I don’t know how to put this, but…’ She ran her fingers in his hair, searching for the right words. His heart oddly stammered when her eyes met his, and she detailed him with loving, passionate stubbornness. ‘They will want you for the same reasons Harry wants you in his squad, why Papa wants to you to get to a higher position at Gringotts, and why Aunt Hermione is ready to slay her personal ethics about pushing family interests to mentor you at the Ministry.’
She moved her hips against him, and he let out a sigh as he grasped her closely. In the feeble light diffused by the gas lamp, her skin had an unreal glow, as if Victoire had turned into the moving statue of a deity of some sort.
‘When you’re around,’ she whispered against his mouth, ‘when you involve yourself into something, Teddy, it becomes instantly better. I swear. Everything shines.’