Chapter 2 : VICTOIRE I
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Author's Note: I hope that everyone liked the first chapter. I cannot tell you how much the reviews are helping me with continuing this story! Every little comment helps.
Harry Potter belongs to JK Rowling. I own nothing but the plot and OCs.
Is there not a list somewhere, scribbled down somewhere on a piece of paper, the rules of being a sister? You are wondering about this now.
"What?" you ask, disbelieving.
It has taken your little sister nearly an hour to stop crying. She came an hour ago. It has taken her all this time to tell you the news. It takes all you have not to recoil in horror, pulling your arms away from her shaking body.
"Oh god," Dominique moans, cradling her face, "Oh god, Victoire, don't make me say it again."
You bite your tongue, drawing blood. You want to ask, scream, tear out feathery tufts of her matted hair. You want to hear it again, you do not care if it breaks her.
You want to - no, - need to hear your sister, the traitor, tell you she has betrayed you.
Beautiful, rebellious, devil-may-care Dominique. For how long, how long, have the years gone by with her breaking the rules of sisterhood? She has everything. Your sister has everything.
And now she had to take this from you too. For how long? How long have you wanted this? Did you not dream of marriage, a beautiful house filled with loved, treasured children? You have wanted this the most out of anything, you remember, and now it is no longer your dream.
A baby, and you want nothing more but to scream at her, make her feel terrible.
It is your sister's reality, and the guilt burns you like fire.
"Shhh," you soothe, stroking her pastel hair away from her tear-stained face. A sob ripples through her once more, so violent that you jerk away from the movement.
Your sister and your heart both break at the same time, falling to pieces in front of your eyes. Dominique crackles a throaty, bitter laugh. You heart tears apart at the strings as you look at her, wondering what could be so terrible.
Dominique is pregnant. She is going to have a baby. It is so clearly visible in her eyes that she so loves the infant that she does not yet know.
Even now, as she moans and sobs and chokes on her own breath, she lays a delicate hand on her abdomen. She is not aware, and you do not point it out. It would be too much, and her façade of invincibility would fall. You do not know if you could bear to see her any more vulnerable than she is in this moment.
Oh, god, the guilt works it’s way higher, closing in on your heart.
“Dominique,” you whisper, leaning your trembling lips down to her ear. You do not think she will hear you through the sounds of her falling apart, “This is a beautiful thing.”
She recoils like you have slapped her, faster than you have ever seen anyone move before. In another instant, she is standing in front of you, looking at you as though she has never seen something as horrible in all her twenty-three years of living.
“Beautiful?” she hisses, the word seeps off of her tongue like acid, “I’m going to lose him. I’m going to lose him, and I can’t do this without him!”
There is something in her voice in the moment that makes you want to shout at her that she could never fathom how lucky she is. How she has everything.
“Ma soeur,” Dominique whispers, “What am I going to do?”
Her eyes are dead. You wonder if she can see you – can see her stupidity – through the pupil surrounded by striking blue irises.
“You’re going to tell him,” you say, grasping her wrists too quickly. She flinches, trying to pull away. “And he will love you all the more.”
Dominique shakes her head from side to side, emitting disbelief. You wonder, truly wonder, if she cannot see what is in front of her. Does she not see the way he looks at her when she laughs, how he is drawn to her with every move she makes? The way his face brightens and he fights a smile when she slips her hand into his?
Your sister, your soeur. She is stupid, and stubborn, and beautiful and so, so lucky.
He loves her. He adores her. He would do anything, everything to be with her for the rest of eternity. If only, if only. You wish Teddy would do such things. You wish that the year and a half you have been engaged will come to an end, ending with Pachelbel’s Canon as you float delicately down an aisle.
Sometimes you wonder, although you have never breathed a word to a soul, just how much your fiancé loves you. If he loves you, if you will ever be married. Why he seems to grow sullen when the word ‘wedding’ comes up, why he refuses to settle on a date, discuss plans.
She is crying even harder now, tears marking wet tracks down her pink cheeks, falling like rain onto the floorboards. She pulls you towards her, embracing you like she used to, when your relationship was not as frayed as a piece of twine.
She clings desperately onto you, wetting the blouse you love most. Her broken cries are muffled in your ears as she whispers, feebly, pathetically, brokenly.
Dominique finally breaks, her façade in pieces on the floor.
He arrives mere minutes after you call for him, stepping into your parlor with a blazing look in his eyes. Immediately, so preciously, his dark eyes search the room for her, drinking in his surroundings and flitting over the empty space in which she is not in.
“Victoire?” he asks, and the sound of his voice is like that of a child. So quiet, so scared, so curious. He heard her when you flooed him, she was trying hard to keep her cries quiet. “What’s going on? Where’s Doe?”
He walks towards you like a man with a purpose, you think. And after all, he has a woman whom he loves waiting for him, bearing news that he knows nothing of.
His nickname for her echoes in your ears. He bends down and greets you a hasty hello; a kiss on your cheek. Doe. No one but him calls her that, you notice, as your mind runs through everything anyone has ever called you.
Vic. It is what Teddy calls you on most days, when he feels particularly chipper. Every other time it is Victoire, and in the instant where the father of your sister’s child greets you hello, you have never hated your name more.
Oh, oh god, can she see it? Can she see how much he loves her? Can your stupid, ignorant, oblivious sister see how much you wish your fiancé loved you as much as she is loved? Is she so utterly blind to the world that she can’t see it coming? The baby, the man, the white picket fence and the Victorian-style house surrounding by rolling green hills? It’s all coming together for her, and she cannot see it.
“Lysander,” you say, “Dominique is - ”
But the moment you both feel it, the tiniest presence inside of the room, his attention is off of you and you watch as he is halfway across the room in an instant, bringing his lips to hers.
Your sister, you notice, is small. Slender, taller than most, yes, but small in the sense that she could blow away in the wind, carried atop the breeze. She is fragile, nearly ethereal in this moment, where she keeps a conscious distance between her and him.
He looks at her, blinking furiously, before he brings her to him, enveloping her in his arms as she wets his shirt with her tears.
The moment seems private, and you try your best to disappear amongst the wallpaper, hidden in the shadows. They do not speak, they do not move. Their eyes are closed as they stand in the same spot for what could have been an hour or a minute, you cannot tell. The only thing that breaks it – the silence that has settled over your home, over your sister, over Lysander – is her small groan of discomfort, and the fluttering of his eyelids as he opens them, pulling away but keeping his arms firmly around her.
Dominique looks more frightened than you have ever seen her, trembling where she stands, staring up at Lysander with wide, swollen eyes. Has she ever looked more beautiful than now? Real, raw, without the brick wall she holds before her.
“Doe,” he says, a look of half wonderment, half bewilderment shaping his face, “Did…did something just…move?” He looks at her face for a moment, drinking in her misery, her fear, and then, cautiously, they move downwards, finally resting on her stomach.
“Oh, god,” she whispers, her face crumpling, “Oh, god, oh, god.”
His eyes, slate gray, snap back up to her. His face is expressionless, his mouth open just a fraction. “…It did move, didn’t it?”
So slightly that you can almost not even see it, your sister nods her head, bringing it up, where the tears gather in her eyes. Down, and they fall down the shape of her nose.
Silence. Frightening and thunderous silence.
“Doe!” Lysander cries, grabbing her quickly into his arms, lifting her clean off of her feet. Her face, frozen with the shock of her life, does not move as he spins her, tears spilling from his eyes.
He stops suddenly, the jubilance erased from his face as he notices her stillness, her tentativeness. “Doe? What – what’s wrong?”
Dominique’s eyes cloud with tears once more, watching the contours of his face etch lines into his forehead as he gazes down at her in concern. They stay the same for a mere moment before her soft, pink lips turn upwards into a tiny smile.
And then she falls, knees giving out, arms going limp, falls.
He does not miss a beat as he catches her quickly, holding onto her gently, as if she were a glass figurine. His smile matches hers as he leans forward, kissing her forehead. “Tell me,” he whispers, though no one said anything.
“I thought,” she answers, “that I was going to lose you.”
He looks at her with the strangest look, as though she had spoken Gibberish.
“I adore you,” he tells her, and they stop, looking so utterly picturesque, staring into one another’s eyes. Gray to blue, blue to gray. They do not stop for a very long time, but you do not count.
Teddy is still living with his friend, a repercussion of your fight. You are still waiting, waiting, waiting. You are still engaged, still waiting, still just Victoire, still so, so guilty. You are still hidden, blended in with the shadows and the wallpaper.
Your sister, your soeur.
She just has everything.