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Chapter 4: Of Oblivious Grandmas, Unexpected Responses, and Considerate Best Mates
"Teddy!" my grandma yelled and hugged me tightly.
She released me and held me at arms length. "You changed your hair!"
This was true. My hair, which was always a brilliant shade of turquoise, was simply sandy blonde. I figured out at school that hair that looks like you dyed it with Cool-Aid was really not cool.
"Yeah," I muttered, running a hand through my rather long hair.
"Well come on! Some people are dying to see you!"
To be honest, I was pretty depressed that I was going home, if you could even call it home. More like, hopping from house to house due to the fact that my parents were, you know, dead.
At Hogwarts, I was the man. Popular, doted on... wanted.
At home, I was just... Teddy.
Not that I didn't love my grandma and Harry, but they have their own lives too and I often got the short end of the stick.
It was nice getting some attention.
"Teddy, dear, you're being awfully quiet," my grandma said as she drove down the road, not even sparing a look at me.
"I'm fine," I muttered weakly as I continued to stare out the window.
"That's nice, dear," she continued. Once again, I do love my grandma, but she is just about perceptive as I am ugly.
"I'm going to drop you off at the Burrow for the weekend," she said, then smiled slyly, "Little Victoire will be there."
I perked up instantly. "Vick?"
"Yup," her smile faltered, "She is a little cross with you though. She said something about you not writing enough."
I felt a little guilty. 'Not writing enough' was probably the biggest understatement of the year. I did not write a single letter to Victoire. I wrote minimal letters to my grandma and Harry. I didn't even come home for Christmas. I was too busy being adored at school.
"Don't worry though. Victoire isn't one to hold grudges."
I grinned. Good. At least Victoire will be glad to see me.
You remember what I said about being my grandma being perceptive? Yeah, she's just about as good as predicting the future.
Alright, so there may be a particular reason why I keep hitting on dear ol' Vick. Other than the fact that she is now incredibly fit, I mean. We've got the whole history thing and I really do quite enjoy her personality (yeah, enough to drop the L-bomb). Now, she tends to pretend that this part of her life never happened, but I, on the other hand... Well I usually pretend this part of my life never happened as well.
But I have a perfectly good reason!
Well, that really depends on your definition of 'good', but I digress.
At the time it seemed like a pretty good sacrifice, a moody ten-year-old for a whole school that voted me the most popular kid at school?
(Well not literally, but you get my point.)
Needless to say, I picked popularity.
It's not as if I don't enjoy the popularity either, it's just that it gets rather tiring.
It's the same deal. 'Ooooh, Teddy! You're such a good Quidditch player!', 'You're so sweet!' or 'You are the greatest person to have ever existed!"
... I may have made up that last one, but someone probably was thinking of it.
I blinked in surprise and turned my head sideways to see my best mate glaring viciously at me with a book in his lap. Natty (but only, I'm allowed to call him that), or Nathaniel Jones, is and always will be my best mate. I think it's because we're so different. He balances me out - keeps me centered.
He's pretty much everything I'm not. He's rather quiet, level-headed and awkward. So awkward, I don't even think he's kissed a girl.
And he's seventeen.
Natty huffed a little and rolled his eyes. The fire crackled angrily.
"Honestly, it's as if you don't listen to half the things that I say," he muttered more to himself. He dropped his head to look at his book so that his straight, unruly, black hair covered his eyes.
"Sorry, Natty-boy," I grinned, "What were you saying?"
"Whatever," he grumbled, moodily.
Unfortunately, Natty tended to be rather moody. I believe it's all that pent up rage that's bursting to escape his little quiet self.
"You know, I'll always listen to your problems, Natty," I grinned as I readjusted myself on the Gryffindor couch.
Sometimes, I feel kinda bad that I mistreat Natty so badly. He's the greatest friend I've ever had, but I do have a tendency to zone out when he tries to talk to me.
... But only sometimes.
"You having girl troubles?" I asked, winking suggestively.
"No," he replied simply.
"A young maiden caught your attention."
"A babe with a nice-"
"Ted, I find that rather sexist and demeaning."
"You can't tell me you don't-"
"No, I don't. And I'd rather you didn't treat girls like pieces of meat."
I think that's why Natty has so many female callers (even though he says no to all of them). He's rocking the whole tall-dark-and-mysterious thing and is considerate and sympathetic. He's the girls' go-to shoulder to cry on. He actually helps out the ickle first years when they got lost.
Honestly, the kid's a saint.
It's kinda creepy, actually.
He's so perfect, it's very disturbing.
Maybe, he's a robot.
That would explain so much.
I shook my head, trying to get the thoughts of my best mate being a robot disguised as a teenage boy out of my head, then turned to him.
"So, Natty, I've got quite the situation with Weasley."
"Of course, you do," he replied monotonically. He'd gotten used to me ranting to him about Victoire for the past week after I realized how, you know, fit she had gotten.
"Why does she hate me so much?"
Natty looked up from the book that was sitting on his lap and stared at him incredulously. His stormy grey eyes flashing dangerously.
"You're kidding," Natty said slowly.
I looked at him expectantly.
"Well, it could be the fact that when you were kids and best friends, you completely blew her off-"
"No, she's over that."
"OR," he said loudly over my commentary, "It could be the fact that you've shagged all of her best mates."
"I didn't shag all of them."
"OR, it could be the fact that you called her heartless-"
"She knows that I didn't really mean that. Even though she can be quite a bi-"
"BUT IT'S PROBABLY," Natty nearly bellowed at me, "The fact that she hates you with every fibre of her being because you represent everything that she hates."
Almost everyone in the common room was staring at us. Natty blushed furiously through his tanned skin and dropped his head back to his book.
I smiled at everyone and waved dismissively, "No need to worry, ladies and gents, Natty's just going through his time of month."
"I do not have a time of month!" Natty hissed at me.
"Just having a little fun, mate," I grinned at him.
Natty groaned and slammed his book shut, standing up. He held his head high as he strode towards the portrait.
He was so dramatic at times.
"Have you ever considered a career in theatre?"
I got quite a large welt from Natty when he threw his book at me.
"Honestly, Natty, you need to relax," I said after running after him, "Would it kill you to take things a little less seriously?"
He glared at me. "You mean like you do?"
"Exactly!" I replied, throwing an arm around his shoulders.
"No thanks," he snapped back, "I like taking myself seriously."
"You're such a downer, Natty," I muttered.
His (what was sure to be a long, annoying) rant was cut off, when a group of four whispering girls approached us in the corridor.
I was sure I knew who the other three were, but one particular girl distracted me. A curly, tall, blonde caught my eye. Her icy blue passionate eyes locked on mine.
Sure, it was passionate hate, but still, that's better than nothing.
"Lupin," she said curtly, her eyes narrowing at me.
Merlin, this girl was fit. She was relatively tall with a small waist, but by still she was still... well, developed. All the features on her round face were perfect. She had wide icy blue eyes that made her look completely innocent. She had a perfectly shaped button nose and her lips... Don't even get me started. Her round, pink, soft lips were making me want to snog the living daylights out of her.
"Weasley," I grinned back, making my way over to her and wrapped an arm around her waist. I could feel her stiffen next to me, but she didn't pull away
Score for me.
"So, about Hogsmeade tomorrow-"
"What about it?" she snapped at me.
"You, me. Great Hall? 11?"
I smiled charmingly at her. Her eye twitched.
"Whatever," she muttered throwing my arm off of her. "I'll see you then."
"Oh, come on! I - wait, what?"
I opened and closed my mouth like a goldfish. She rolled her eyes.
"I'll see you then," she repeated slowly as if she was talking to a little child.
"Was that a yes? Woah, Weasley, I didn't know that you were that desperate."
She glared at me and punched me strongly in the gut, knocking the wind out of me.
Man, this girl has an arm.
"I said I'd go with you. Don't make me regret it."
Without another word, she dragged her speechless friends by the arm and walked away.
"Did that really just happened?" I asked a littled dazed.
"A little curious," Natty mused, chewing on the inside of his cheek.
Uh oh, he's thinking.
But she said YES!
I think today was the greatest day of my life.
"They're planning something," Natty muttered, ruining my moment of happiness.
"They're what now?" I asked confused.
"There's no way that Victoire would just say yes so easily-"
"She's up to something," he concluded, scratching his cleanly shaven chin.
I snorted, "There's no way."
Natty turned and glared at me, "Don't go."
"Are you nuts!?" I bellowed at him in disbelief, "The girl who I think I may love-"
"Yeah, for about a whole week."
"Just agreed to go on a date with me! And you expect me to not go?"
Natty studied my face. He sniffed.
"You can't go," Natty said seriously, "Those girls are planning something. I don't know what but this is not going to be good."
I pondered it. Natty was right. Victoire would never say yes to me. She hates me and her friends all have me on their hit list. No doubt the date would involve some horrible form of revenge involved. And knowing Victoire, it would be highly painful and very creative. Common sense is telling me not to go and thank the Lord that I had a chance to avoid this disaster.
But on the other hand, this is Victoire we're talking about. This might be the only chance I have to win her over and make her my lady love.
I licked my lips and said hesitantly, "I'll take my chances. It's Victoire. She's worth it."
Natty sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. "I knew you'd say that," he muttered, still thinking, "Well be careful."
"Shucks, I always knew you cared, Natty!"
"You're an idiot."
"He knows!" I groaned smacking my head onto the Great Hall table. A considerable amount of mashed potatoes was getting in my hair. I felt sick. It was dinner time and I couldn't eat. I could not believe I was agreeing to this. Why was I agreeing to this? This was madness.
"He knows!" I repeated exasperatedly, "He's not going to show up and I'm going to be mocked for my entire life by being stood up by the town bicycle!"
"Town bicycle?" Kristen laughed from somewhere above, amused.
That's just lovely. My friends take pleasure in my pain.
"Kristen!" I screamed shrilly, "I can't do this! I'm not Lindsay-"
"Oi! Was that necessary!?" Lindsay yelled indignantly.
"-I can't possibly go on a date with him! I loathe his very being! I can't do it! NO!"
"Calm down, Vick," Emily said calmly, patting down my curly hair, "You're getting hysterical."
"I AM NOT HYSTERICAL!" I screamed, which I know, sounds a little hysterical, but it wasn't, I assure you.
"You're going to do it," Lindsay said flatly.
"No, I'm not!" I snapped back, "I don't want to do it and I won't do it."
"Yes, you will. The guy torments you on a daily basis and you're afraid of hurting him?" Lindsay said, annoyed in her snooty voice. "You're riddiculous. He needs payback and you're going to give it to him if you are a self-respecting human being."
Ugh, I hate it when she's right and she doesn't even know about the 'detention incedent'.
If she did, I'd never live it down.
Don't you even think about telling her.
"Fine. I'm doing it," I said firmly, "But no-"
"MAKE OVER TIME!"
My eyes widened and I jump up out of my seat. Kristen's blue eyes were sparkling in delight, Emily was grinning from ear to ear, and Lindsay was rubbing her hands together as if she was about to watch the experience that is 'Victoire torture'.
"No..." I muttered as I back away from the three rather frightening looking girls approaching me.
Time to make a break for it.
"AGGGGGGHHHHHH!" I screamed as I made a mad dash for the exit.
"GET HER!" Kristen commanded and a thunder of footstep followed me.
Screaming incoherently, I ran out of the Great Hall. The students at the house tables watching, pointing and whispering at the four crazy Gryffindor girls.
I ran down corridors, turn corners, burst through classrooms and up staircases.
"You'll never take me alive!" I laughed maniacally as I ran up the fourth or fifth staircase. Before I knew it I was falling promptly and was greeted by the lovely sight of the dirty castle floor.
"Ow..." I moaned weakly as I stirred pathetically on the floor. "Merlin, that hurt."
I heard a chuckle and I lifted my face off the cold, stone floor.
"Jones," I adressed the boy standing in front of me. He was wearing his muggle jeans and a red Gryffindor t-shirt with a lion. His black hair was hanging over his grey eyes. He was laughing, running a hand through his hair.
I wasn't really one to check out my enemy's best friend, but Merlin, this boy was attractive... Like really attractive. He was kind of sweet looking... That sounded odd.
Forget I said that.
"Hello, Victoire," he said, still chuckling.
"Would you like anything, Nathaniel?" I asked, raising my eyebrows at him, trying my best not to sound like a complete bitch.
"I just thought you might need a hand," he replied easily with a small smile and stretched out his hand for me.
I looked at him for a moment skeptically. I mean, this is Lupin's best mate. He definitely could be out to get me.
I grasped his hand anyways and he pulled me to my feet with ease. I dusted my clothes off and offered Nathaniel a grateful smile.
"Well, I gotta jet," I said kindly, "I've got some lunatics on my tail."
I turned ready to dash off in the other direction.
A firm hand grabbed my hand and pulled me around, staring intently in my eyes. Before I could even blush, he let go.
He looked at me seriously with his thoughtful grey eyes and simply said, "Don't hurt him."
"Hurt who?" I asked a little dazed with this whole situation.
"W- why would I hurt Lupin?" I asked nervously. How did he know? My mind was going a hundred miles a second. "I mean, I am going on a date with him."
"I know," he said sadly, "And I know you'd never say yes to him. There's too much bad blood there. I know you want some compensation-"
"But, I don't-"
"But please don't hurt him," he finished, "I know that he's not the nicest guy, but he doesn't deserve any payback you're planning for him."
I blinked in shock. Man, this Nathaniel was perceptive.
"I'm just looking out for him," he said trying to smile, "It's in the best mate description."
I couldn't help but respect him. What he would do for his friend (even if it was Lupin, who I despised) was really admirable.
"So, you won't hurt him?" he asked sounding a little nervous.
"Of course not," I said trying to lie even though I was lying through my teeth.
He grinned, "Good. Well see you around, Victoire."
He turned around to leave.
"Wait!" I called at him before he could disappear, "I- um, I just wanted to know, if... Well... If Lup- I mean, if Teddy actually likes me?"
Nathaniel looked at me, chewing the inside of his cheek.
"Honestly, Victoire, I think he really does," he answered with a small smile, "You're lucky. You're not like the others."
"Thanks," I found myself smiling back and blushing madly, "Bye, Nathaniel."
He raised his hand in farewell before he turned and walked away.
You know what? I think I quite like that Nathaniel boy.
"There she is! Get her!"
A/N: Look at that! Right after queue openage? How good am I? :D I can't apologize enough for the wait I made you all endure after my 'mysterious absence'. I was going to get the beta'd but I figured I should just get it out to y'all! We can all deal with some grammar errors, right? :)
Feedback? Not that much Teddy/Victoire but next chapter's the date! It will be loaded with it. How's everyone like Natty-boy? :D:D:D To be quite honest, I LOVE him. I think he's a hoot and a half.
I'm not quite too sure when I can update next, since exams are looming and I need to write 3 essays to apply for university. I'll try to get one out soon though!
I'd love it if some of my beautiful readers would drop a comment in the beautiful box down there!
-- Dancing Fool