Chapter 5 : V.
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V. Baby, look up when you're down — Chapter 5
“Most quarrels amplify a misunderstanding.”
— Andre Gide
Victoire willed herself not to cry. She wouldn’t cry over Teddy, why should she even give him the satisfaction? This was Teddy, she rationalized, why was she even surprised? It wasn’t as if she didn’t know about his ways. But, knowing about something and seeing it were two very different things. Victoire cursed herself for being so unbelievably stupid. How could she have thought that things would be different? Because they had spoken in earnest? Because she had done something so completely out of character — apologized? Fighting back tears, Victoire neatly placed a stack of leather-bound books at the bottom of her trunk. She reached for a pile of folded clothes and began packing her still nearly empty trunk.
A knock sounded at the door and Victoire jumped, startled. Frowning, she walked over to the door and grasped the handle of the doorknob. Something in the back of her mind still wished Teddy would be standing behind the door apologetic, but she quickly pushed the thought aside, she didn’t need more false hope. Turning the handle, Victoire opened the door to come face-to-face with a tall and slender dirty blonde-haired girl.
‘Oh, hey, Dom,’ said Victoire, surprised.
‘Aw, ’Toire, you sound so unbelievably happy to see me,’ replied Dom, her trademark grin set in place. She punched Victoire playfully on the arm and made her way over to Victoire’s bed and stretched languidly across it. Victoire was slightly envious of her sister’s easy-going demeanor.
‘No, I am happy to see you,’ said Victoire. ‘Just a little surprised.’
‘Yeah, well, I was feeling a little nice today,’ said Dom, hassling her thick hair into a effortless knot which she secured with her wand.
Victoire nudged Dom’s legs aside and settled herself on her bed bringing her knees to her chest. ‘Seriously,’ said Victoire. ‘What’s up?’
‘Nothing,’ replied Dom. ‘I was just kind of bored, so I thought to myself, Hey, let me go see that girl I call my sister.’ She grinned and Victoire threw a pillow at her head.
‘You’re just way too nice, Dom,’ said Victoire, rolling her eyes.
‘Thanks, ’Toire,’ said Dom, rolling over onto her stomach.
'Where are your friends today?' asked Victoire.
Dom wrinkled her nose in disgust. 'Following Teddy around. Can you believe that? Teddy. What's up with you and him lately? Are you talking or do you still think he's a womanizer?'
The question caught Victoire by surprise. She looked up to see her sister staring inquisitorially at her. ‘He’s… Teddy.’ Victoire didn’t know what to say. She couldn’t exactly divulge the happenings between the two to her sister, she was too ashamed.
Dom raised an eyebrow. ‘Yes, I know he’s Teddy. What do you think about him?’
‘I don’t think about him,’ lied Victoire.
‘’Toire!’ said Dom, ‘I’m asking you your opinion on Teddy. Could you give it to me?’
‘Fine. He seems decent. I never talk to him, Dom. What do you want me to say?’ responded Victoire.
‘I don’t know,’ said Dom, shrugging. ‘Dara’s planning on going after him,’ she continued nonchalantly. ‘A bit weird, don’t you think? I could never think of Teddy that way. I mean, could you imagine kissing him? It’d be like kissing your brother.’ She made a face upon remembering their younger brother Louis. ‘Not Louis, but you know what I mean.’
Victoire had unconsciously gripped the bed cover. Everything Dom had said was enough to make her feel even more sick. Jealousy was the only thing going through Victoire’s mind. She couldn’t help it. Bloody Dara Cole. Bloody Chloe Davies. And bloody Teddy Lupin. She was seething. She swallowed the lump that was forming in her throat. ‘Yeah… weird,’ replied Victoire finally.
‘Whatever, Dara seems intent on Teddy. Not that he’d be into her, she’s two years younger. But, then again, Teddy isn’t the most chivalrous boy, I’ve heard,’ said Dom, matter-of-factly. ‘What ever happened to him? He’s used to be so nice.’
‘I know,’ said Victoire.
‘And his taste in girls,’ said Dom making a face. ‘That Chloe Davies is a right bitch.’
‘Look, could we stop talking about Lupin?’ asked Victoire, getting up.
Dom held up her hands in defense. ‘Hey, I was just making conversation.’
‘Well, then, could we converse about something else?’ asked Victoire icily. She avoided Dom’s stare and began dropping more clothes and books into her trunk.
‘What’s your problem, ’Toire?’ asked Dom, getting up from Victoire’s bed.
‘Nothing,’ responded Victoire.
‘Suddenly what everyone says about you, I’m starting to notice, too,’ said Dom angrily. ‘You’ve become exactly like them.’
‘Like who?’ asked Victoire.
‘Like your friends,’ said Dom before turning and walking out of Victoire’s dormitory, slamming the door behind her.
Victoire sighed heavily and walked to the adjoining bathroom. She felt the tears threatening to pool from her eyes and turned the knob of the faucet and let the ice cold water fall into her open palms. She squeezed her eyes shut, hoping that the tears would stop falling. She splashed the ice cold water all over her face and it mixed with the hot tears that she couldn’t stop from pouring.
She shut off the water and grabbed a towel to dry her face. She glanced at her reflection. Her large deep blue eyes revealed nothing. The redness that she got in her cheeks from crying was gone and she looked as she always did: haughty, unruffled and indifferent.
Victoire walked back into the dormitory to see Aurelie dropping things into her trunk and Savannah appraising herself in the mirror.
‘Hey, Victoire,’ said Savannah, looking at Victoire through the mirror. ‘Were you here the whole time?’
‘Yeah, I’m not even close to finished packing,’ replied Victoire, trying her best to not give away any of her emotions.
Aurelie’s head snapped up and she looked over Victoire suspiciously. ‘I’ve got to go get something done, I’ll see you two later.’
Savannah took no notice of Aurelie’s exit and continued to line her light blue eyes with black Muggle eyeliner.
Pushing all thoughts of Teddy aside, Victoire turned towards her trunk to drop nearly all of her belongings inside before firmly snapping it shut.
‘Why is it that there are always no empty compartments left on this train?’ asked Aurelie, annoyed.
‘Maybe ‘cos we’re always late?’ offered Savannah.
Aurelie clicked her tongue and rolled her eyes heavily at Savannah. Victoire paid no attention to her friends because she was too preoccupied with avoiding Teddy.
‘Come on, we’ll go check the back,’ said Aurelie. Savannah and Victoire followed submissively.
They reached the end of the train and Aurelie slid a compartment door open to reveal a pair of snogging fifth-year Hufflepuffs. Aurelie made a disgusted face before clearing her throat loudly. The couple looked up, startled and awkwardly fled the compartment.
All three sat down in the compartment. Savannah pulled the compartment door closed and the gossiping commenced.
‘So, she said that she told her that she’d caught them cheating together,’ began Savannah. Victoire sighed and shut her eyes, this was going to be a long ride to Kings’ Cross.
Victoire’s ice blue eyes snapped open. She sighed, Aurelie had been calling her name. It wasn’t Teddy. The dream had seemed so unbelievably real.
‘We’ll be at Kings’ Cross in ten minutes. Savannah and I are going to the loo, are you coming with?’
‘Uh, no,’ replied Victoire, dazed. ‘I don’t have to go.’
‘All right,’ said Aurelie, shooting Victoire a weird look before walking out of the compartment with Savannah.
Victoire sat up slowly, running a hand through her tousled hair. Why couldn’t she stop thinking about Teddy? She hated it, it was driving her insane.
She got off the bench and opened the door cautiously. She walked down the aisle of the train and skipped the closest bathroom, where Aurelie and Savannah surely were and walked farther to the next one.
There wasn’t a line at the next bathroom and Victoire pushed the door open forcefully, impatient to escape everyone’s inquisitive looks.
What she came face-to-face with was something she wasn’t expecting. Teddy was standing at the far end of the bathroom. Victoire’s eyes widen in shock.
‘Shit,’ hissed Teddy, quickly fastening his pants.
Victoire’s mouth opened and closed several times before she looked towards the door’s sign only to realize that it was in fact the boys’ bathroom. A faint crimson blush crept up Victoire’s cheeks and she turned to leave, forcefully shutting the door behind her.
‘Shit,’ muttered Victoire under her breath. She started towards her compartment but she felt a hand grip her upper arm and pull her into an empty compartment.
Victoire turned around quickly to face Teddy who was shutting the curtains of the compartment. She crossed her arms over her chest defiantly. Teddy finally turned around and the pair stared at each other without saying anything. Teddy looked as if he wanted to say something, but couldn’t quite find the right words.
‘Look, Vic,’ began Teddy. ‘I know what you’re probably thinking, just let me explain it to you.’
‘I think you’ve already done enough, Teddy,’ said Victoire, pushing past Teddy.
Teddy blocked her path forcefully. ‘Would you just stop and let me explain for a minute?’
‘Why should I?’ asked Victoire, whirling around to face him.
‘Because it wasn’t what it looked like,’ pleaded Teddy, running a hand through his tousled hair.
Victoire laughed derisively. ‘Isn’t that what everyone always says?’
Teddy sighed. ‘Yeah, but—’
‘And what did it look like, Teddy?’ continued Victoire.
‘Fuck, Vic!’ shouted Teddy, pushing her against the wall of the compartment. He breathed heavily and held her wrists above her head. ‘Could you just stop for a minute and let me explain?’
Victoire was so stunned by Teddy’s sudden outburst that she didn’t move an inch from his tight hold.
Teddy licked his lips and paused for a moment, his gold eyes searching Victoire’s face. Their faces were inches apart, so close that their noses grazed. Both were breathing heavily and seemed at a loss for words.
‘Before we… slept together,’ began Teddy. ‘I was sort of seeing Chloe. I mean, I did like her and maybe that gave her the impression that I wanted to be with her, but I didn’t. She was nice, that’s all. We were friends… sort of. And then the night of the party… well, I couldn’t stop thinking about you. I started avoiding Chloe after what happened between us because I realized I didn’t want to be with her. Or anyone else for that matter.’ Teddy sighed and looked down to meet Victoire’s eyes.
Victoire swallowed and then asked, ‘Then why were you kissing her?’
‘She pushed herself onto me, I swear,’ said Teddy.
‘And you couldn’t push her off of you?’ asked Victoire, removing herself from Teddy’s tight grasp. She stepped away from him angrily. ‘It looked like two people were in that, Teddy. You’re to blame as well.’
‘Victoire, I swear, I didn’t want to kiss her,’ said Teddy.
Victoire shook her head, tear tracks glistening on her cheeks. ‘Why do I find that so hard to believe?’
‘Because you don’t trust anyone, Vic!’ said Teddy. ‘All you see is what you’ve convinced yourself of.’
‘That isn’t true,’ replied Victoire. ‘I know what you’re like. Everyone knows. Even my sister knows!’
‘And what am I like, Vic?’ asked Teddy angrily.
Victoire faltered. ‘You sleep around and you don’t care about anyone because every girl likes you and—’ Victoire stopped abruptly.
‘Is that what you think of me?’ asked Teddy quietly.
Victoire couldn’t answer.
‘Is that what you think of me?’ shouted Teddy.
‘I don’t know,’ replied Victoire, almost inaudibly.
‘Good to know,’ said Teddy finally. He crossed to the end of the compartment in one stride and pulled the handle of the door.
‘Wait, Teddy,’ said Victoire.
Teddy stiffened slightly but didn’t turn around to face her.
‘I’m confused about how I feel about you,’ began Victoire. ‘I thought you were a selfish womanizer but I don’t know what I think about you anymore.’
‘Well, I’ll make it easy for you, I’ll just leave you alone. That way you won’t have to worry your pretty little head on it,’ said Teddy before slamming the compartment door shut.
Author's Note Thoughts? I'd love to know what you guys make of this chapter.
Thankyous for reading!
chapter image by trésor @ TDA.
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