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Chapter 1: A Fairy Tale
Authorís Note: I tried writing humor and this is what you get. Iím sorry. Incidentally, my first NextGen story (which unfortunately is my least favorite genre.)
Happily Ever After
Once upon a time, there was a girl named Victoire Weasley: quarter Veela, three-quarters red-head. She was the eldest of Fleur and Bill Weasley and she was doted upon. Oh, not more than her siblings, Dominique and Louis; just differently. After all, she was their firstborn.
For several years, she had been their only child and so anything Victoire did seemed to be touched with a different sort of magic than the parents were used to dealing with. When she gurgled, it was likened to the bubbling of a happy brook; when she smiled, it was comparable to the dawn of a new day and when she took her first tottering steps, Fleur collapsed into her husband's arms with bursting pride.
When Dominique arrived, followed shortly after by Louis, one would have expected Victoire to be put out by the fact that her place as the only child of her parents' hearts was being usurped. But not Victoire. Even as a young child, she seemed to understand that her parents had enough love to give to her in addition to her younger sister and brother. In fact, there were days when Victoire would stand on a small stool next to her mother, helping change the baby or spoon mashed yams into her hungry sister's mouth.
And so the idyll days passed. Victoire grew up with a warm and loving family, including an innumerable amount of cousins and "adopted" cousins. Shell Cottage, her childhood home, was big enough to fit the family of five but not too big so as to feel unconnected with any of the family if one was in a different room. Situated on the beach as it was, there was more than enough freedom for Victoire and her siblings to run and play, getting into the scraps and tumbles as children are wont to do.
Her first year of Hogwarts arrived, not too soon and not unexpected. Maybe it was because of the amount of family she had at the school or the reverence attached to her family, or maybe it was because that Victoire herself was of the confident and even-keeled variety, but she seemed to breeze through the halls as she was Sorted into Ravenclaw (her cousins had just nodded to themselves about this; she had always been the wittier and smarter of them all) and soon became a favorite among the teachers for her willingness to participate in the classes as well as the high marks she earned.
Victoire grew up to be a lovely young woman, her hair a flowing and luscious strawberry blonde, her face absolute perfection, her form a figure boys began to dream about. One would think that with such beauty and intelligence, many would shun her for her snobbery but Victoire shattered any conclusions of her having airs or thinking her above others by being a charming and friendly girl. She helped first years get to where they needed to go, she stayed behind in class to clean up the desks, she could even be found in the kitchens, working alongside agonized house elves in preparation for feasts.
Victoire was happiest when she was helping others.
Now, this may sound like Victoire led the perfect life but that statement would be far from true. For there was sadness in her heart, a yearning for something more. There were nights, when the sky was so clear that one could count the stars if one so desired, when she would sneak up to the Astronomy Tower and look out, searching for something to fill the empty space in her heart.
It was on such a night that we find her now. She stands on the balcony, a playful spring breeze tangling themselves in the fine strands of red-gold, tugging at the hem of her silk nightgown. Her beautiful face is turned towards the full moon, deep sapphire eyes watching the world around her, waiting.
A movement on the ground catches her eye and she gives a soft gasp of surprise. "Oh!"
For it is Teddy Lupin loping off to the dark woods, secrets in his footsteps.
Teddy. Just the thought of his name sends her heart pitter-pattering. She comes up to the Astronomy Tower in search of that something she feels when she's around him. She doesn't quite understand it, her young and virgin mind never having participated in her more rowdy cousins' discussions, but she knows that it is akin to something that her mother and father share.
Teddy Lupin has been as much a part of her life as her own family but she's never been able to think of him as a relative; no matter how much he'd been apart of the Potters and Weasleys. It wasn't that she had a low regard for him or felt that he wasn't important like her aunts, uncles and cousins, but the feelings she had for him were different, something a little more.
As a little girl, her hair in pigtails, she'd followed him around at family parties, watching in fascination as he'd move around with a grace one wouldn't have expected from a young boy. He'd enthralled her with his quick laughs, all teeth and sparkling gray eyes; his ever-changing features; his tugs on her hair ("I like touching fire") and she'd adored him. But recently, that adoration seems to have turned into something else. Something she couldn't put a name to.
Not one to follow an impulse, she hesitates for a second but then pushes thought aside as she follows her heart, her feet leading her down, down, down to the entrance hall and out the doors and to the edge of the woods where she hesitates. Her nightgown has slipped off her shoulder, revealing creamy white skin that seems to reflect the moonlight. Her burnished hair sets off an incandescent glow that would hypnotize any man or beast.
She hears a growl in the woods, her heart quickens and her hand flies to cover her gasp of fear for she senses that any sign of such an emotion would spell disaster for her and whoever waited for her in the woods. Hesitantly, she steps across through the tree line. "Teddy?" her dulcet tones call out. There is no response and she gathers the Gryffindor side of her and charges further in, her feet seeming to glide silently over fallen bramble and leaves.
"Teddy?" she calls out again as she reaches the edge of a small clearing, one ray of light from the moon falling on a crouched figure.
The figure shifts and turns towards her. "Go away." His voice is barely recognizable, as if he's talking around something in his mouth. She backs away a little, not sure if this is the Teddy of her heart. But gathers herself together. She's no coward.
She approaches him slowly. "Are you okay?"
"I'll be fine, just go away." His words are short, but she isn't hurt by them because she can see his shoulders convulsing and her compassionate soul aches to see him in obvious pain.
Her footsteps have brought her within a meter of him and her hand reaches out towards him. "I'm here to help you, Teddy." Her voice is soft, the melody one that would and has soothed anyone. It works now as she sees Teddy's shoulders relax.
"I know, Torie, I know, but you can't help me with this," he sounds like he is pleading and that is enough to send her to his side, her arms coming around his back, unable to see his face due to the dark cloak he's pulled over himself.
"What's wrong?" The unnamable feeling has now coalesced into a knowledge, an absolute certainty that she is in love with Teddy Lupin. His pain has become her pain and all she wants to do is take it away. Her life has been so golden and perfect except for this empty part of her soul and she feels that it is within her grasp to bring to completion, if only she can help him now.
There is a pause and then his face lifts to meet hers, slowly. She senses the significance of the moment, smart girl that she is, and doesn't say another word as centimeter by centimeter his dear and familiar face is revealed to hers. But the face isn't so familiar to her now and she bites her full lower lip in an effort to quell any word or sound that would break the trust he is showing her now.
His eyes have elongated and gotten wider, the pupils almost swallowing up the iris; his nose has protruded and grown canine like; his teeth are larger and sharper. This isn't a gene that he's inherited from his mother. This transformation is from his father.
Everyone has known that Remus Lupin was a werewolf and for awhile, it was expected that Teddy would be, too. But he never showed any signs of changing on full moons, spending his time playing and laughing indoors with the rest of the family and so everyone had breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that Teddy would never have to go through what his father had.
Victoire's mind cast back to the past year and she silently cursed herself for missing the signs, the regular disappearances, the sallow skin for a couple days a month. This year had been especially busy for her with additional Prefect duties eating up her time. But, Victoire wasn't one to wallow in mistakes for she knew that part of the reason she had missed these indicators was due to Teddy's own want to keep his personal problems off of the family's lines as much as possible. This is why she loves him, his instinct to protect those important to him is so like her own.
Such an instinct is beating through her now, her sparkling gem eyes search his face, search his soul and the solution for his arduous situation comes to her all at once and that breath-stealing smile is used to its full force, to stun him into not moving. She places her tiny yet elegant hands on his face, ignoring the feel of fur against her skin and places a gentle yet ardent kiss on his mouth, not even thinking of the sharp teeth pressed up against her or the claws that have started to scratch at her waist as he tries to push her away.
The world is still for a moment, no breath is taken and then she feels something being pulled out of her. In her mind's eye, she sees silver strands flowing from her finger tips, from her mouth, from the ends of her hair which is whipped up by some unseen wind. These silver ribbons wrap themselves around Teddy, over and up and around, tightening their hold and bringing him against her. He doesn't fight it and his arms wound themselves around her small waist, his hands spanning her back and she realizes that he doesn't have any claws anymore.
As she recognizes this, the kiss changes. His face is no longer covered with fur but smooth heated skin and her hands slide into his thick and soft hair. His mouth is human once more, warm lips pressing against her own. A very human groan comes from his chest and his large hands slide themselves up her back and into the flowing rose amber of her hair. She gasps and he takes advantage of it, sliding his tongue into her mouth, tasting her, claiming her.
She is absolutely lost in his touch, in this kiss. Yet this is accompanied by a feeling of having found exactly what she was looking for. Minutes, hours, days pass as they learn about each other in this new way. He is her anchor just as she is his panacea.
When the moon has settled in for the night and the sun begins to peak over the horizon, they lay together in their clearing, her pale creamy skin shining against his tan, her hand clasped in his, his thumb running over hers. In the quiet of the dawn, he asks her a question, not out of the blue, their lives seeming to have been leading up to this moment when they would intertwine and become one for the rest of their days.
"Will you marry me?"
He looks down at her as her cerulean eyes meet his, her face flushed with an inner glow that makes a beautiful girl into a gorgeous woman and she answers him the only way she could.
And she does.
And they live happily ever after.