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Chapter 2 : Flirtation
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Ted couldn’t quite believe he’d fought Andromeda, the girl he was in love with.
“You did us all proud!” laughed Eddie Ross, his best friend, slapping him on the back. Ted’s other friend, Eloise Jenkins, had her arms round Eddie’s neck laughing. “Teddy! You took out a Black! A real life Black! Okay, it was only Andromeda, but she’s still a Black!” That comment felt like a stab in Ted’s stomach. He didn’t like it when people mentioned Andromeda. It was like they were coming too close to finding the truth that he had been in love with Andromeda Black since fourth year.
“That will wipe that smug look of Rabastan Lestrange’s face once and for all,” said Eddie, cracking open a bottle of Butterbeer and handing it to Ted. Taking a swig out of it, Ted fell on the largest sofa in the common room as a shrill voice pierced through the room, “Teddy!”
Turning around, Ted saw Kate Crouch, a manic grin on her face. It was common knowledge around Hufflepuff that Kate had had a crush on Ted basically the whole time she had been at Hogwarts. Ted was rather bemused why Kate would like him and Ted supposed they were kind of a couple. She was a tall blonde with long legs and an hourglass figure. Eddie couldn’t help but drool whenever she appeared. Her sparkling blue eyes were full of light as she ran towards Teddy, wrapping her arms around him.
“Oh my Teddy, “she said alluringly, “why, you were so brave! I could have never battled that horrible girl!” Ted tried to smile, but he was pretty sure that it came out as a pained expression. He could not help it, but he had always found Andromeda alluring. Suddenly, he felt he did not want to be around Kate, Eddie and Eloise anymore.
“Guys, I’m gonna go for a walk, save me some cake,” he said indicating the big chocolate gateau they had got to celebrate. Turning away he lifted his feet up and traipsed away, but he knew he would not be allowed to leave. “You can’t go now mate!” bellowed Eddie, “you’ve got to stay.” Kate almost certainly agreed as she ran over and planted an enormous kiss on Ted’s lips.
A week sped by and Ted still found himself the most popular person at Hogwarts. There was sympathy for Lisa Smith, the poor girl had been jinxed very badly by Bellatrix, but Ted had proved to the world that a Black could be beaten. He got claps on the back, congratulations and supportive songs made up about him. If Ted had been anyone else his ego would be huge, but he managed to keep his feet firmly on the ground.
Arriving for History of Magic he sat down with Eloise, the only one of his friends to take the subject at NEWT level. She looked tired; she’d been up all night arguing with Eddie again over his alleged crush on Kate. They were now no longer a couple. Eloise did not seem particularly worried; she knew Eddie would come back to her like he always did.
“Andromeda’s finally come out of hiding,” she whispered pointing over to the Slytherin’s. Over the other side of the room, holding Rabastan Lestrange’s hand, sat Andromeda, her loose curls styled into a neat bun at the back of her head. She looked nervous and her eyes were red; it was evident she had been crying. Ted could not help staring at her until Rabastan leant over and kissed her on the cheek. That was like a stab wound in Ted’s stomach so he turned round and watched the front of the class.
“Right,” said Professor Binns, startling them all as he floated through the blackboard, “erm, we’ve been told in the staff meeting this morning that after the animosity shown in last week’s duelling club students are no longer allowed to be paired with their friends in class.” Ted looked to Eloise who was looking horror struck as her eyes rolled over the most unpleasant looking Slytherin’s. Professor Binns immediately began to split up the class into pairs. Eloise found herself paired with Gordon Cane, the arrogant Ravenclaw Keeper, who immediately began probing her about her relationship with Eddie. Jason Michaels, the only other Hufflepuff who took History of Magic, found himself paired with Rabastan Lestrange. Ted was glad; he would have punched Rabastan if he was paired with him.
Ted was one of the last to paired up and when it was finally his turn he could not help but smile. He found himself paired with Andromeda. She looked unnecessarily tense as she picked up her books and came and deposited herself in the seat previously filled by Eloise. Not daring to look at him she opened her textbook and began leafing through the pages unnecessarily quickly, her usually pale face flushed with colour.
“Right class,” said Professor Binns slowly, “this term I have decided to set you up with a new class project.” The class grumbled loudly but Binns carried on regardless, “you will each do a project on the early lives of the founders and hand it in to me at the end of term for the last lesson before Christmas. I expect one project from a pair. Now, get going!”
Andromeda turned to Ted slowly, a pained expression flickering in her doe like eyes. She watched him for a moment, fixing him with those dark eyes that had left him spellbound for so long before he had the courage to speak. “So,” he said quietly, “the founders.” At this display of weakness she metaphorically leapt at him like a tiger going for the jugular. “I will do Ravenclaw and Slytherin,” she said stiffly, “you can do Gryffindor and Hufflepuff. That way we don’t have to talk to each other.”
At that moment to Ted’s relief, Binns floated by, “no Miss Bates, you must work together, house unity and all. How about you meet with your partner once a week and build a joint project together? I’m sure it will be fascinating.” Ted had to bite his lip to stop himself laughing at the expression on Andromeda’s face, one of absolute contempt and disgust. Once Binns had floated away she mumbled angrily, “fine. We better get on with it then. Just research something.”
They remained in an icy silence for the rest of the lesson; Andromeda sticking her nose so far into her book Ted could barely see her face. But however distant she was being, this was the closest to her he had ever been since his crush had begun. A ringlet of brown hair fell into her face, gently brushing her nose. He had never noticed she had gentle freckles before; in contrast to the porcelain skin the rest of her family possessed. It made her more human. Ted hardly noticed that he did not do any work all lesson; all he saw was her, so when the lesson was over he had to hide his blank parchment from her.
“We’ll meet every Thursday, eight o’clock,” she said, not directly looking him in the eye. Ted gleefully realised that was the next night and it slightly washed away his feelings of disappointment that the lesson was over. “I’ll do a bit more research for then,” said Ted, trying to give a confident sexy smile. It was at times like these he wished he had Quidditch player’s rippling muscles and good looks. He didn’t; he was just plain old Ted. But she continued to look up into his eyes until she finally mumbled, “see you tomorrow,” and stalked past him out of the classroom.
“Why do I always get stuck with the idiot guys who attempt to be sexy?” growled Eloise angrily, linking her arm with Ted the second she reached him. Ted mumbled something about it sometimes working before Eloise interrupting him angrily, “Eddie’s always been like that. At least you’re not though. You are good old Ted, non sexual in every way.” Ted could not help but feel a bit disheartened before saying, “thanks, that’s instilled me with confidence.”
“That’s not what a meant Ted,” said Eloise imploringly, “it’s just, it’s not your natural instinct to go flirt with a girl you like. I mean, Kate had to basically throw herself at you to get your attention.” Wounded, Ted bolstered himself, “I can flirt with girls – but only when I really want to.” He knew that wasn’t true at all. Kate basically had to attack him to get anywhere and he turned into a blabbering wreck every time he was around Andromeda. Basically he was a no go zone for girls.
That night, after Eloise and Eddie had made up again, Ted sat in the Common Room with Eddie, Eloise and Kate trying to finish the homework that was piling on top of them. Eloise and Eddie had fallen asleep curled up together on the sofa and Ted and Kate had decided it was best to leave them to it. Scribbling down his History of Magic research, his bubble of thought was suddenly interrupted by Kate.
“Oh!” she exclaimed, loudly, “do you wanna help me study for Charms tomorrow evening. We’ve got a test at the end of the week and I don’t want to fail.” Ted had dropped Charms so could not be sure how useful he’d been anyway, “I can’t,” he said a little too happily, “I’ve got to do this research project for History of Magic tomorrow.” Kate groaned loudly and then said, “can’t you leave it to some other time Ted?” Shaking his head he said, “I can’t let my partner down.”
“Who’s that?” asked Kate as she began to draw a star chart out for Astronomy. “Andromeda Black.” Kate reacted violently. She coughed loudly as if she had choked on something before managing to say “Why?” Smiling, Ted said, “Binns put us together. Part of inter house bonding or something.” Kate pulled a face before saying, ”rather you than me.”
Those words resonated with Ted for the rest of the evening. He could not tell anyone how he felt, least of all Kate who he supposed was his kind of girlfriend. No one would understand, especially Andromeda herself. High born Andromeda who looked down on people like him. But she was not like her sisters. She was not as militant as Bellatrix or as sly as Narcissa. She seemed shy and introverted but most of all sad. Ted wanted nothing more that to bring Andromeda out of her shell. Ted had always believed in his heart that she was good and not like her family. And with a little flirtation, he thought he could make her achieve her potential.
I really like this story and I hope you do too! Please read and review. It's definitely worth it. If you liked this story please read my other stories "Legendary" (founders fic) or "From Ancient Grudge" (Next Gen fic). Next time...Andromeda and Ted meet up for their first research session and Ted detects a problem...
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