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Two Years After Midnight by Riddle Wood Lupin
Chapter 1 : Butterflies
 
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Disclaimer: Harry Potter and all things related © J.K. Rowling. Cinderella belongs to Disney, I believe. Inspiration from Cinderella Beautiful by Peter Cincotti, which is also where the title is from.
 

It was beautiful.

We were like Cinderella, that Muggle story about the girl and the prince. She was the beautiful girl, the girl with no huge amounts of money, the girl often overlooked as anything other than a beautiful porcelain doll you weren't allowed to touch. I was Prince Charming, I had everything. I was practically the son of the Boy Who Lived, The Chosen One, the one who defeated Voldemort, and arguably the greatest wizard of all time. And we had our midnight, and it was beautiful. 

We started out as the best of friends. She was two years younger than I was, and Harry and the Weasleys were always together, how could I not have been friends with her? She was particularly fond of watching my hair change colors. And I would do it just to please her.

When I was eleven I joined the ranks of Hogwarts. I was king of the school, I owned the place. Everyone knew who I was and whom I lived with and thought Metamorphosis was amazing. No one seemed to mind my lack of blood relations, my grandmother had died when I was six, and my only relations were distant enough to be overlooked for what they were, what they had done. No, I was Hogwarts, it was mine. 

I returned from that first enlightening year to discover that Victoire Weasley was something to be cherished, that she was beautiful. But we'd changed, we were different. We were still friends, but we couldn't be anything we were before because she was becoming beautiful and more than just her aunts and uncles were taking notice.

We drifted. I can never forget the day I truly discovered her again, though I'd see her everyday, passing through the common room, laughing with her friends, and trying, unsuccessfully, to rid herself of many of the unwanted attentions she always received. No, the day I found her was the afternoon before a late Quidditch match. It was supposed to have happened ages before but had been rained out and now it was absolutely vital to finding the two teams for the Cup. 

The game before lunch had consisted of Slytherin brutally taking down Hufflepuff, who was sure to place last in the Cup this year. Really, it was quite the horror to watch. And after lunch, we were up against Ravenclaw. We were tied right now, and we had to take them out. This being my third year as Captain, I wasn't particularly nervous, but nervous all the same, the way you always get before a match. And because this was important, I was eating rather rare meat. It calmed me down. Something I inherited, obviously.

So, I was sitting at the long table, with remnants of my team scattered about, laughing and enjoying their meal, while I tried not to freak out the moment I couldn't remember what a certain part of my plays were. And then she showed up, a couple of her friends chatting behind her. They sat on the other side of the table, slightly away from me. But she reached over to the plate of meat in front of me.

"That's pretty rare, you know," I murmured, thinking that she thought it was normal meat. She gave me a heart stopping, dazzling grin in response. 

"I know," she laughed for a moment at my reaction, as I sat dumbly with meat hanging off my fork. She turned back to her friends, but I commanded her attention again pretty quickly.

"You like rare meat?" No one I knew liked rare meat. No one. It just didn't happen, generally speaking, especially not a girl. 

"You didn't think all those times dad gave you rare meat it was only for you and him?" She asked, lifting an eyebrow into a perfect arch.

"Well," I paused, looking down at the red meat, "Yeah." 

"Well, you were wrong," she laughed. "I inherited it, too. I'm sure my mother secretly disapproves of it." 

"Probably," I murmured, stiffly.

"Good luck," she was smiling at me. I starred at her, confused. 

"Sorry?"

"Good luck," she stated, glancing upward. I followed her eyes, noticing my team filing out of the Great Hall. 

"Oh," I replied, dumbly, before rushing out of the Hall. 

Honestly, I still wonder why she had an inclination to like me after that pathetic display. We went on to win the match and the Cup, by the by. At least she didn't distract me where sports were concerned, except in, you know, almost forgetting that I had a sport to play. 

We continued as the casual acquaintance after that, I liked to mention now and then that I was friends with her, it added to my reputation. And, hey, she did to, because I was, after all, the ruler of the school. Sixth year came and went pretty easily. Or it would have, if we just pass over the night before we went home.

I found her sitting by the lake, reading a book while her friends were roughhousing in the great expanse of Hogwarts’s front lawn. I didn’t have very much to do myself, except packing all my things, and really, that wasn’t very important to me. I had plenty of stuff and I could get it back pretty easily. Professor Longbottom was pretty good at making sure his friends’ kids got all of their stuff back. Observant fellow, that Professor, he was sure to get Gryffindor Head of House next year, since we still didn’t really have one. 

But, anyway, Victoire was sitting by the lake. She wasn’t paying much attention; I don’t even think she was reading that book. Her eyes were rather glazed over and she was watching reflections flit across the lake. The moon looked particularly lovely that night, while the sun drooped below the horizon. It was almost perfect, but in quite the bittersweet way.

“You don’t have anyone to say goodbye to?” I asked, dropping down next to her and using my knees as a prop for my forearms. She looked up; taken aback that anyone was around her. But, then, all of her friends were still playing, making loud noises and such to wake the Giant Squid. 

“Not particularly,” she mused, once she’d regained her calm. “Who would I say goodbye to when I’m coming back next year?” 

“True,” I nodded, looking out over the lake. That was a stupid question. Why was I so stupid? “I know there’s no way that a girl like you doesn’t know a seventh year or two or twenty.”

“What are you trying to say?” She grinned at me, closing her book on her lap and leaning back into the tree behind her. I watched as her blonde hair fell over her eyes while she glanced down at the uneven ground. Her lips were parted evenly over her perfect teeth, the smile still gracing her features. I didn’t know why, but I knew what I wanted in that moment.

I didn’t even realize until I noticed that her brilliant blue eyes were looking at me with a question in them that I had yet to answer her. Her smile faded, and her eyes dropped to the level of my lips. I could see a faint blush rising in her cheeks. I didn’t even know whether she wanted it or not, but I did. It didn’t take me long to twist myself into a proper position, which allowed my hand to wind itself up under her hair and tilt her head just the perfect way to let my lips meet hers. 

There was no tongue, no deeply passionate meeting of souls, but there were butterflies floating through my stomach. How unmanly is that? Butterflies. I didn’t know if what I did was right or wrong, but I did happen to notice the lack of sound on the grounds, and could feel several pairs of eyes watching me. Waiting. 

“Teddy,” she murmured, looking down, not looking at me. I removed my hand from her head with a lightning quickness. I was sorry. In that moment I hadn’t regretted anything more. But I couldn’t find any words to talk to her, all I could do was shakily stand and walk back across the grounds, through the castle’s entrance, and up all of the winding staircases. If anyone had talked to me on the way up, I had no way of knowing. I didn’t even realize where I was until the Fat Lady’s voice interrupted my trance, asking for the password. I didn’t know the password. I knew I would remember it later, but at that moment, I just needed to think. Alone.

So I spent my last night of my sixth year of schooling in the Room of Requirement. Which still sounds somewhat ridiculous, even now. But Victoire always had that effect on me. I mean, butterflies.

 

In response to Girldetective85’s “How Love Has Changed Me” Challenge on the forums. It’s not much on the basis of Beauty and the Beast, as the inspiration came from a song about Cinderella…but there you go. It’s also not the best of my writing, but I really like Teddy, so. I have the whole of this story written, and I’ll spread the posting period out over the month of July. Probably one every week or so, because it’s only four chapters long. Only three more to go! ;) 

Anyway, let me know what you think, especially about the Teddy/Victoire characterization. :)

-Riddle Wood Lupin


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