Chapter 4 : For the Better
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“But, daddy,” I looked down at the ten-year-old girl on my lap, “That story doesn’t end happily.”
“Of course it does, Nymph,” I grinned down at the purple tinted hair, lifting her up to plant her on the ground. “I found your mother, and we fell in love, and we had you and Johnny.”
My daughter grinned up at me, revealing a mouth full of missing teeth. It was still hard to believe she would be going to Hogwarts next year. I never thought I’d take to being a father like I did. So my life didn’t turn out like I thought it would. I sat down heavily at my desk, letting my hand push roughly against my temple where a headache was beginning to grow.
No, my life hadn’t turned out like I’d thought it would. I had never expected to find love in Victoire Weasley. And I had never expected that once I had it, I would lose it so easily. But I couldn’t be Prince Charming forever, and, though I spent those two years thinking and wishing for our midnight back, I realized, eventually, that I didn’t want to be.
It was tough to always be perfect for her. She was perfection, and she needed perfection, and that was something I didn’t have the capabilities to give. She had been beautiful, though; there was no denying it. We had been beautiful. And we had almost gotten a fairy tale ending.
But, then, fairy tales were for children.
Looking back now, I can’t believe I wasted so many nights. I spent so much time dreaming of being with the girl I could never have again, reminiscing over the love we had had. And all I’d had to do was step out into the world, and let somebody else in. All I’d had to do was realize that I wasn’t alone in the world.
Victoire and I actually ended up quite the best of friends again. We spoke through the post constantly, and saw one another often, generally on Platform 9 ¾, as I’d been in the habit of taking the littlest Weasley, Lucy, throughout her years and Victoire’s own son was just two years behind her. Mainly, I had volunteered simply because Percy tended to get a little overwhelmed at all of the improper procedures of various Wizarding parents, and Audrey was either trying extremely hard to keep her shop running smoothly, or helping Molly in some crisis or another.
I took Nymph with me this year, so she could see what she’d get to do the next year. She’d been full of amazement and excitement. Victoire hadn’t ever seen her, only in a few pictures. And while we had been sending Lucy off, Victoire had seemed to suddenly appear by my side, also wishing her cousin a good year at school. My breath caught as I looked at her, she no longer seemed to have any scruples about wearing her hair naturally.
“Hi, Teddy,” she smiled at me, revealing her pearly white teeth. It almost sent me back to that first time we had kissed, down by the lake. The only difference was we were both married and were different people. I might still dream of kissing her, but I never would.
“Victoire,” a faint smile drew its way across my face. “How’s the family?”
“Everything’s going good,” she glanced at Nymph in my arms. “We’ll be spending Christmas with mum and dad this year.”
“That’s good,” I nodded. “This is Nymphadora.” I set her down, but she still gripped my hand. That truly made me smile. “Nymph, this is Victoire. She’s Lucy’s cousin.” I watched with the traces of my smile lingering, while Victoire bent down to get a better look at Nymph, and even received a giggle or two from the little girl. She stood up after a while, though.
“It was good to see you, Teddy,” she flashed me her smile again, and I nodded once more.
“You too,” I stated, “Tell your family that I can’t wait to see them this Christmas.”
“We can’t wait to see yours, either,” she looked me directly in the eyes. I almost lost it. I didn’t expect her to hug me, but she did, before she leant back with a smile and disapparated away. Nymph had bugged me the whole way home about the way I had reacted toward Victoire. She was a perceptive little ten-year-old. I had relented and told her most of the story.
“Teddy,” I lifted my head at the sound of my name, watching my wife make her way around me. She began to massage my shoulders. “I think it’s good that you finally told someone your troubles. Even if it was your ten-year-old daughter.” I could hear her smile and I smiled in spite of myself.
“I may not be the best at expressing myself, or having a working relationship,” I titled my head to look her in the eyes, “But I think things turned out for the best.” Yes, Victoire’s leaving me made everything all the better. I was certain of it now.
“I’m glad you see it that way,” she grinned at me, leaning down to plant a kiss on my lips.
“I do, Cee,” I stated in earnest. She shook her head at me, giving me a kiss on the forehead before following the path Nymph had taken before. I smiled, thinking of Cecilia, Nymph, and John. My family. Things had turned out for the better. I knew it.
Hm. Well. So, the challenge was that they couldn't end up together. But that they had been changed for the better because of their relationship. I don't know how well that came across, but Teddy did change for the better and he's thankful for it. That's pretty much what this final chapter is. Maybe it worked. I don't know. ;)
Just to note - I have no idea how old Lucy is or anything, I just wanted an excuse and I chose her for some random reason. And Teddy's children's names...well, Harry isn't the only one who can name his children after his parents...:D
Please let me know what you thought of the story!
-Riddle Wood Lupin