Chapter 4 : Four.
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Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter or anything you recognise.
Teddy had not had a good morning. He had woken up late and spilt his bowl of cereal down himself, forcing him to get changed. He had then proceeded to apparate in a rush, resulting in him leaving the fingernail on his baby finger behind. After he went back home to get it he had had to report to Healer Connell and explain why he was late and finally, he had to go and get his fingernail sorted out; it had been the epitome of stressful.
Teddy had just got his fingernail firmly reattached when he bumped into his friend, Cassie, another volunteer.
‘I don’t suppose you’ve seen Witch Weekly this morning, Ted?’
‘Nope, it isn’t really my choice read. Why? Anything good in there?’
‘Depends what you’d call good darling. Going out on a limb, I’d say that you aren’t going to love it.’ She chucked the paper that she’d been carrying at Teddy and he scanned the front page quickly.
‘Try page seven.’ Teddy flicked through until he got to page seven and was shocked to see a photograph of himself and Dominique. He glanced up at Cassie.
‘What the hell is it about?’
‘Read it, but whatever you do don’t shoot the messenger. It would only cause me unnecessary bother and I can’t afford to spend even more time in this place to get a bullet wound healed.’ Teddy gathered his senses and began reading the article.
Teddy Takes the Town
We’ve all been seeing the best looking bachelor of the minute out and about recently, but who was the mystery girl on his arm three days ago? As the pictures show, they were looking very cosy over a romantic ice cream, even eating from each others’ bowls. He seemed very familiar with the red head and he clearly doesn’t have a problem with his relationship being public, but we here at Witch Weekly couldn’t help thinking that he could do a lot better... The girl was obviously attractive, but her ratty clothing and misshapen nose didn’t fare well when compared to Teddy Lupin’s classic good looks. However, there was obviously something that we missed because when they were later photographed in Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes (see left), Teddy’s nose was looking distinctly out of joint while his ‘friend’ was chatting with a boy she clearly knew well. What is this girl’s secret?
‘Is she the famous Dominique, then?’ Cassie asked.
Dominique wasn’t legally allowed to be mentioned by name and her face had been blurred, but she was still recognisable to those who knew her and Teddy would bet twenty galleons that the magazine knew exactly who she was too. He was consumed by rage and didn’t bother to answer the question.
‘How dare they talk about her like that? Is that even allowed?’ Teddy was so livid that he was crumpling up the magazine viciously as he spoke.
‘Oh, it’s allowed, Teddy,’ Cassie said.
‘But, why the fuck are they even interested?’ Teddy questioned as he threw the, now unrecognisable, magazine at the floor in disgust.
‘Because Patrella Poversi fancies the pants off you Teddy, my dear. Don’t tell me you didn’t see The Prophet on Thursday!’
‘I did, but what does this have to do with this bloody article?’ Teddy’s eyebrows furrowed in confusion.
‘She wrote it too, Teddy. She’s just trying to get some sly little digs in.’
‘She’s a bloody bitch is what she is. She’s calling Dom ugly… There are a lot of things you could call her, but that definitely isn’t one of them! Why would you do that to someone, especially when it’s quite clearly a load of crap?’
‘Jealousy, Teddy,’ Cassie said as she reached out and took Teddy’s hand in an attempt to comfort him. ‘She’s gorgeous and she’s your girlfriend and- ’
‘Wait a second! Dom isn’t my girlfriend, Cassie.’
‘Oh God, sorry! I just assumed from the way you talk about her.’
‘No, no, I just grew up with Dom and we’ve known each other forever. She’s one of my best friends,’ Teddy smiled at the thought of Dominique, but this only left Cassie more confused; if Teddy felt this strongly about the girl, then why wasn’t she his girlfriend?
‘Well, stay strong Teddy and just ignore it. I’ve got to go and help Healer Kelly up in Spell Damage, but I’ll see you later.’
‘Talk to you later, Cassie.’ Cassie blew Teddy a flirtatious kiss and strolled off down the corridor; Teddy just laughed.
As soon as Teddy had finished his shift at St. Mungo’s, he took advantage of one of the nearby fireplaces and flooed straight to Shell Cottage.
‘Careful there, Ted,’ said Bill. Teddy was sprawled messily on the living room floor of Shell Cottage.
‘Sorry, Bill. I was just in a bit of a rush. Is Dom about?’ Bill and Fleur were sitting in the front room and Teddy quickly got himself up off their floor.
‘She eez in ‘er room, Teddy.’
‘She hasn’t… I mean has she seen Witch Weekly? She doesn’t read it does she?’
‘She ‘as seen it Teddy.’
‘Ugh, shit. How’d she take it?’
‘Don’t worry about it Teddy, mate, it’s not your fault.’ Bill had avoided the question, indicating that she had taken it pretty badly.
‘But it is, Bill. If I hadn’t been finished at bloody Hogwarts they wouldn’t be able to print anything.’
‘Teddy, eet ees out of your control, but I am sure zat Dominique would love to see you.’
‘Can I go on up?’
Teddy walked calmly out of the living room and then thundered up the stairs to Dominique’s room. He hadn’t missed the worried look that Bill and Fleur had exchanged when he asked about Dom. He was debating whether or not to knock on the door when Dominique’s muffled voice called out to him.
‘If you must come in, then hurry up.’
She knew him too well. Teddy opened the door carefully, but he wasn’t greeted with a pleasant sight. Dominique was lying on her bed, facing away from him and clutching a pillow to her chest. Teddy sat on the edge of her bed and Dominique thought, resentfully, of how ironic it was that this was practically the exact same positions she and Victoire had been in when she told Dominique she loved Teddy. How fitting it would be if Teddy’s love for Victoire suddenly overwhelmed him and he had to declare it to Dominique too.
‘So you’ve seen it then?’
‘That woman is a complete bitch, Dom. She’s just a sad old woman who has nothing better to do with her time than to slag off everyone who’s better than her or prettier than her or smarter than her. She deserves to be Avada Kedavra’d off the face of this bloody plane-’
‘Teddy, I’m not mad at her.’
Dominique’s words stopped Teddy mid rant because they puzzled him so much. How could she not be mad at her? She was publicly criticising Dominique and trying to make a fool out of her. Dominique hadn’t yet made any effort to turn around and face Teddy, so he took it upon himself to get up and sit down at the side of the bed where she was facing.
‘I’m sorry, Dom.’
‘What for, Teddy?’ Dominique wasn’t crying, but her eyes were red and swollen with sorrow and her voice was a monotone.
‘Well, I assume if you’re not mad at her, you’re mad at me. I know that I should have been more careful, I mean I’ve already been in the paper once, but I wasn’t expecting it again, Dom.’
‘Ted, you’re an idiot. I’m not angry at anyone.’ Nobody but myself, she thought.
He brushed a strand of hair from her face and said to her, ‘Then, tell me what’s wrong, Dom, because I can’t stand this.’
‘Merlin, Dominique! It quite clearly isn’t nothing.’ He didn’t want to ask it, but if it wasn’t about the article then this was the most likely cause of her distress, ‘Is it… Adam?’
‘No, everything’s fine with Adam.’
Teddy swallowed, ‘…Another boy?’
‘No, Teddy. I’m fine. Just leave me alone, go and talk to Vic or something.’
‘Ah, yes, you just stay here digging yourself further and further into a depression and I’ll go and talk to Victoire about unicorns or something. That’s a logical suggestion. You, Dominique Weasley, are an idiot.’
‘Dom, that was a joke.’
‘Well, then you clearly don’t know me that well. I’m a stupid, thick idiot.’
‘Where is all of this self loathing coming from?’
‘Since I realised what a fucking idiot I am.’ She clasped the pillow tighter to her.
‘Is this about your OWL results? I’m sure you’ll do fine.’ Teddy was running out of suggestions as to what was wrong and was clutching at straws desperately.
‘You want to know what’s wrong, Teddy? If it was Vic you had been out with they wouldn’t have written any of that shit.’ As she said this Dominique looked directly at Teddy for the first time since he had walked into the room. She was daring him to contradict her.
‘Dom, they would have written it about anyone.’
‘Not Victoire, because they couldn’t say that Victoire wore ratty clothes, or had a hideous, crooked nose or that she was overshadowed by anyone because she was a minger. Victoire would have been gorgeous and immaculate and perfect.’
‘Dominique, can you wise up for one second? Your nose is not bloody deformed, you have a little bump, which just so happens to be very cute; your clothes aren’t ratty, you were in your art stuff, and I love it more than anything else you own because it’s the real you and Dom, if you’re a minger then nobody has any hope. Adam doesn’t seem to think so either…’ Teddy thought that confirmation of Adam’s adoration might do her more good than he could. ‘Victoire may be perfect, but you are perfectly imperfect; you’re real.’
‘It wouldn’t happen to Victoire.’
Teddy looked at the pitiful sight Dom made as she curled up in her bed and threw caution to the wind. ‘Move over.’
‘Go on, budge over.’
Dominique shuffled over slightly in the bed, not knowing what Teddy intended to do. He then clambered in beside her, shifted her over another little bit and put his arm round her. Dominique was stiff for a second and then moulded herself into his shoulder.
‘Get rid of that bloody pillow before you rip it to shreds.’ Dominique laughed softly, chucked the pillow across the room and snuggled up beside Teddy.
It was seven o’clock the following night and Teddy was getting ready to go to the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade with Harry, George, Bill and Ron; sadly Percy hadn’t been able to accompany them. The men had decided that if their better halves were having a bit of fun there was no need for them to sit inside alone and so, their little outing had come to be.
Victoire was still refusing to speak to Dominique after the whole Witch Weekly fiasco; apparently it was a “betrayal of the worst kind”. No matter how many times Dominique had explained that she and Teddy were just out as friends, Victoire declared that the pictures “told a different story”.
Teddy was already feeling nostalgic about going to Hogsmeade and catching a glimpse of Hogwarts, it may have been this feeling of nostalgia that was causing him to be late, or it might have been his rubbish time keeping skills, but either way he knew that he wasn’t on time. Teddy stepped outside and was about to call goodbye to his grandmother when he realised that she was already at The Burrow, (she was never late), so he apparated directly to Harry’s garden gate; it was the closest he could get, what with Harry being a celebrity hero and everything. Apparently, it was much less of a security risk if you couldn’t apparate directly to the front door.
The others had obviously heard him apparate and Harry appeared at the front door to meet him.
‘Wotcher, Harry, yeah, fine thanks.’
‘C’mon in.’ Teddy followed Harry into his hallway and then turned right into his front living room, where everyone else was waiting.
‘Okay, is this some sort of conspiracy?’
‘What are you on about, Ted?’ Harry asked.
‘How did Ron manage to get here before me?’ Everyone laughed.
‘Hermione quite literally threw me into the fireplace when she was leaving, meaning I was here a quarter of an hour early.’
‘Well, Fleur convinced me that we were meeting at half six to make sure I’d be on time, so I was here at ten to.’
‘And Angelina apparated me here herself at seven o’clock on the dot,’ George said. Teddy then looked to Harry for an explanation.
‘I live here, Ted,’ Harry said smiling.
‘Right enough, but if it was anywhere else Ginny would’ve had you there on time. What is it with this family and domineering wives? Am I the only man left?’
‘Don’t speak so soon, Teddy, I come bearing messages,’ Bill said. ‘Dominique told me to tell you not to drink too much, because “it isn’t worth it”. She seemed quite amused actually, anything you would like to share?’
Teddy blushed, Gryffindor had won the Quidditch cup this year and despite the fact that Teddy didn’t play on the team, he’d gotten rather carried away with the celebrations. Usually this would be enough in itself to worry Teddy, but he had also managed to go streaking round the castle. Thankfully he hadn’t been caught because that would have damaged his position as Head Boy, but it had been altogether too embarrassing to mention.
‘Nope, nothing at all,’ he said sheepishly.
‘If you’re sure,’ said George.
‘Right, we’d better be off. We’re just going to apparate ourselves up individually and hopefully Rosmerta will let us floo back.’
At Harry’s words the men all gathered themselves and left the house, in order to apparate. Sometimes apparition guards really were a bother. Teddy reached the gate, turned on the spot and the next thing he knew he was outside The Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade; Harry and George were already there and Bill and Ron appeared not long after.
‘You lost again, mate.’ Ron always managed to be the last one to reach a destination through apparition and George was rubbing his nose in it, they were like little kids.
‘I wasn’t even trying, actually.’
‘Whatever you say, Ronnikins...’
Teddy, Harry, Bill and George chuckled at a rather disgruntled Ron and made their way into The Three Broomsticks, where they took a seat at the only remaining booth. Madam Rosmerta appeared at the table a few minutes later.
‘What are you boys having?’
‘I think we should start off strong, we won’t be able to handle it in about half an hour.’
‘Go for it, Harry.’
‘I’ll just have a butterbeer, thanks,’ Teddy said.
‘That coming from the boy who said we could be bossed about by women.’
‘Whatever happened last time must’ve been a bad one.’
‘Alright, Rosmerta, two butterbeers and three firewhiskeys, please,’ said Harry.
‘Wait, who’s the other butterbeer for?’ asked Ron.
‘Me,’ said Harry.
‘Hold on a second, I’ll take one too then,’ Bill added.
‘Well, if Bill’s having one so will I,’ said George.
‘You’re all so boring,’ Ron muttered under his breath.
‘Five butterbeers is it, then?’
‘Yes, thanks Rosmerta.’ Rosmerta took their order from Harry and then left the table. ‘We’re getting old.’
‘Speak for yourselves.’
‘You’ll be old and decrepit soon, Teddy.’
‘Hopefully not too soon, Harry.’
‘Here are your drinks, lads.’ Rosmerta had already appeared back at their booth.
‘Not a problem,’ the friendly owner of The Three Broomsticks handed over their mugs and departed.
‘Teddy, I was meaning to say, thanks for cheering Dom up yesterday; you’re a miracle worker.’
‘No problem, Bill. The woman who wrote that should be ashamed of herself.’
‘I must say, Mr Lupin, you’ve got enough female admirers to rival Harry back in the day,’ said George.
‘But I only had eyes for Ginny.’
‘Shut up, mate. She’s our sister.’
‘Sorry,’ Harry laughed.
‘The difference between you and Teddy is that Teddy has an air of mystery about him, you were just that bloke who saved the world,’ Ron declared.
‘Oh yes, Harry, you were meaningless in comparison to me and my… charm or whatever it is,’ Teddy said sarcastically.
‘It’s your scrumptiously classic good looks and celebrity status.’
‘George, if you say that ever again I will be forced to kill you. I feel bad for Dom though, that woman was a right bitch.’
‘She’ll be alright thanks to you and Hermione. It was looking pretty shaky before you turned up, Ted.’ Bill was looking genuinely grateful.
‘What did Hermione say to her?’
‘That’s right, you don’t know… It’s a bit of a sore subject for our little Ron,’ Bill said whilst laughing. ‘Harry should do the honours.’
‘Why? What happened, Harry?’
‘Well, in our fourth year Hermione was getting a bit of stick from Rita Skeeter for being my supposed girlfriend.’
‘Which she wasn’t.’
‘Yes, Ron, we all know that. But it was a pretty tough time for her.’
‘And she talked to Dom?’ Teddy asked Bill.
‘Yeah, it seemed to cheer her up a bit, but she’s back on form now.’
‘Probably because of Adam.’
‘Who?’ All four men chorused together.
‘The guy in the photograph, she invited him to her birthday party. Apparently they sit together in Charms.’
‘I haven’t heard a word about this! Nobody tells me anything in that house.’
‘I only just met him in Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes.’
‘What’s he like?’
‘Honestly? I don’t like him. I think he’s a bit smarmy.’
‘Oh Merlin,’ Bill muttered as he held his head in his hands and the others laughed. ‘Oh you can laugh, but don’t forget you’ve got it all coming. There’ll be smarmy lads after Lily and Rose and Roxanne and there won’t be a Teddy looking out for them.’ That sobered the others up.
‘What did he say to her?’ Harry asked, suddenly interested.
‘It wasn’t what he said, just the way he said it. He was very slimy, but she couldn’t be stopped. He said he wanted to talk to her in private.’
‘You didn’t let him, did you?’
‘Of course not!’
‘That girl has no sense.’ Bill was very distressed.
‘I know that,’ Teddy said as he drained the last of his butterbeer from the mug. ‘I’d better be off now actually.’
‘Already?’ Bill asked.
‘I have a six o’clock shift at St. Mungo’s in the morning.’
‘Alright, Ted, see you soon.’
‘Bye.’ The men were silent as they watched Teddy leave, but as soon as he was out the door he became the main topic of conversation.
‘And here I was thinking he fancied Victoire,’ said Ron.
‘I know. It was Dom all along!’ George was just as shocked as Ron.
‘What are you two talking about? He doesn’t fancy either of my daughters! You’re being ridiculous. Aren’t they Harry?’
‘Sorry, mate,’ Harry said apologetically. ‘It’s a bad situation, Victoire likes him and he likes Dominique and by the sounds of it Dom likes this Adam bloke.’
‘Why do they have to grow up?’ Bill once again slumped down into his seat as the others looked on sympathetically.
A/N: Thanks so much to everyone that’s been reading and reviewing, it means a lot. ^_^
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