Chapter 7 : Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
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Rose Weasley silently crept out of the doors of the great hall and made her way out onto the grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She slipped her black dress shoes off of her feet and walked across the grass toward a lone figure seated by the edge of the lake.
The girl seated at the edge of the water had her feet in the water and her long silver dress was pulled up around her legs. Her smooth strawberry blonde hair was tied up in a pony tail, and she was staring at her reflection in the water. Rose tip toed over to her older cousin who was sitting at the edge of the lake.
"Victoire, what are you doing out here? Why aren't you inside at the ball?" Victoire Weasley looked up at her younger cousin with tears in her eyes.
"You wouldn't understand, Rosie. Just leave me alone." Victoire said throwing a stone into the depths of the still, black water. Rose sat down beside her cousin.
"Try me. I'm pretty mature for a first year, and you know it." Rose replied holding her cousin's hand comfortingly. Victoire let out a long breath.
"I know James told you all about Teddy and me, right?" Rose nodded. "Well, I'm pretty sure I've ruined everything." Victoire whispered.
"It can't be that bad, Vicky." Rose told her distraught cousin with a comforting smile. Victoire let out a bitter laugh.
"He told me he loved me and I didn't say it back." She said candidly. The smile vanished from Rose's face. "I love him Rosie, I do! I just could not get the words to come out. He hasn't owled me since the beginning of the year and I miss him so much that it hurts. I couldn't stay in the hall for much longer because I just felt like I would contaminate everyone else with my misery. I had to get out of there." Rose wrapped her small arms around her cousin as she began to cry.
"I think I can help." She said. Victoire looked at Rose questioningly.
"You know that Teddy is working in Uncle George's shop in Hogsmeade, don't you?" Victoire shook her head. "Well, if you wait here for a moment I can sneak upstairs and borrow Uncle Harry's invisibility cloak from Al. That way you can sneak out and go visit him. The shop is probably closed, but I know that Teddy stays in the flat above the shop. Hopefully you will be able to go and fix things with him"
"That's a pretty good idea Rosie. Would you get the cloak for me?" Victoire asked.
"Sure. I'll be right back." Rose got up and sprinted across the grounds towards the doors that lead into the entrance Hall. Victoire went back to looking at her reflection in the water. Her eyes were puffy and red and her hair was a complete mess. She had been a total wreck since the incident on the train, and she felt horrible that she couldn't reciprocate her feelings to Teddy the way she so desperately wanted to. Her mind went back to what happened on the first day of school.
Fleur and Bill Weasley had dropped Victoire, Dominique, and Louis off at Kings Cross Station and said their goodbyes to their children. Victoire had put her trunk on the train, helped her youngest brother, Louis, get settled, and there was still about half an hour before the train was scheduled to leave. She found and empty compartment and decided to wait for her friends and the rest of her family to arrive.
Not long after she had found a compartment, she heard someone knocking on the door. "Come on in!" she called. Teddy Lupin poked his head in through the compartment door.
"I'm looking for my girlfriend, have you seen her?" he said sarcastically with a grin on his face.
"Teddy!" Victoire squealed before jumping off of her seat and engulfing her boyfriend of 6 months in a hug. "You didn't tell me you were coming!" he grinned.
"I know I wanted to surprise you." He said before placing a quick kiss on her lips.
"Mission accomplished." She smiled. "How long do we have until the train leaves?"
"About 20 minutes." He told her with a devious smirk on his face.
"Uh oh, I've seen that look before. Teddy don't even think about it because everyone will be here-" She was silenced by his lips covering her own. He led her over to the seat in the compartment without once taking his lips from hers. She buried her hands in his soft hair which was currently bright blue. He placed one of his hands on her lower back, keeping their bodies close.
"Bloody Hell!" A voice yelled in astonishment from behind them. Teddy and Victoire quickly disentangled themselves from each other and looked up to see a young boy staring at them, his eyes wide. "Wait until I tell mum and dad!"
"James!" Teddy called out, but it was too late. James had bolted out of the compartment and was most likely already out of the train by now.
"That's fantastic." Victoire said exasperatedly. She stood up and smoothed out her hair and her clothes
"Don't worry about it. They were going to find out soon anyway." He told her wrapping his arms around her once again. "I should be off. George wants to tell me something today. He asked me to meet him at the Wheezes today." She put her arms around his waist and squeezed him tightly.
"I'll miss you." She said into his chest.
He kissed her lightly on the lips, and then looked into her eyes and said, "Before I go, I just want you to know that I'll miss you, too, and I… I love you." Victoire was pretty sure that her heart stopped. She hesitated for what seemed like an eternity.
"Well, um, I'll see you at Christmas." She told him before kissing him on the cheek. He nodded with a heartbroken expression on his face and turned to exit the compartment. He left without even sending a final glance her way. Victoire collapsed onto the seat and buried her face in her hands.
"Vicky, Victoire? Hello? I have the cloak for you." Victoire stood up and Rose handed her the cloak.
"Thanks, Rosie." Victoire responded despondently.
"Try not to worry too much. I know Teddy, and if he says that he loves you, then he really means it. Everything will be just fine. You know how to get into the passage under the Whomping Willow, right?" Victoire nodded. Rose gave her cousin a hug before making her way back into the castle.
Victoire put on the invisibility cloak and walked from her spot by the lake over to the Whomping Willow. She found a long stick nearby, and used it to prod the knot on the trunk of the tree. She entered the secret passage that lead to the Shrieking Shack. She wasn't really paying attention to how much time had passed, and before she knew it she was in the house. She made her way out of the Shrieking Shack and found herself on the streets of Hogsmeade. It didn't take long for her to find her uncle's joke shop because she knew it was where Zonko's used to be.
She stood in front of the shop and looked up. There were lights on in the flat above the store, and the store itself was closed. She took off the cloak, walked up to the door, and raised her hand to knock on the door. She stopped for a moment to gather her thoughts and to calm herself down, but before she could knock on the door, it opened.
Teddy stood in front of her, and he looked as if he had been having a rough time as well. His eyes were bloodshot and his normal smile was not present on his face. There was one thing that worried Victoire the most; his hair was a normal, boring sandy blonde instead of his usual bright green or blue. Victoire let out a strangled sob and seized him in a hug. She buried her face in his chest, and he took her inside. He sat down on the couch with her curled up in his lap.
"What's the matter, Victoire." He asked gently. Victoire looked up at him with tears in her eyes.
"I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry I didn't say it." Teddy immediately knew what she meant, and he held her tightly.
He stoked her hair and whispered in her ear, "It's okay. Don't you worry about it."
"Don't tell me not to worry about it because that would make you a hypocrite. I know you've been worrying about it. Your hair is normal and boring, and you look like you haven't slept in ages." She said running her hands through his hair.
"I could say the same thing about you." He told her.
"Well, all of this is my fault. I should be the one suffering and worrying, not you. I'm not worth worrying over. I'm not worth anything after the way I've treated you." She said casting her eyes downward. He lifted up her chin so that she was looking into his eyes.
"That's no true, you are everything to me. That still has not changed, and no matter what you do it will never change. I'm your boyfriend who worries about you all of the time, who thinks about you all day and night, and who still loves you. Take your time because I can, and will, wait for you forever." He placed a kiss on her lips and hugged her tightly. She returned his embrace and then laid her head against his chest.
"There's no need to spend forever waiting because I love you, too." At her words, Teddy's eyes lit up, and his hair instantaneously turned bright blue. She squealed as Teddy jumped off of the couch and lifted her up in the air. She wrapped her arms around his neck as he spun her in circles around the room. Teddy set Victoire on the ground and they each gazed lovingly into the eyes of the other.
"What made you change your mind?" he asked intertwining their hands.
"I didn't change my mind; the feelings have always been there. I just felt overwhelmed when you told me that you loved me, and I freaked out. After not seeing or talking to you for months, I realized how deep my feelings for you were. I never really believed it, but absence really does make the heart grow fonder."
"So, how fond of me are you?" Teddy asked. Victoire looked up at Teddy with a mischievous grin on her face, and her face drew very close to his.
"I can show you better than I can tell you." Victoire said before she led Teddy over toward the stairs that went upstairs to the flat. She giggled as Teddy lifted her up so that her feet left the ground, and carried her up the stairs.