Chapter 6 : VI.
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VI. Baby, look up when you're down — Chapter Six
“Confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not yet understood.”
— Henry Miller
The sound of wood snapping ensued when Teddy Lupin’s fist made contact with the wall of the compartment. Anger seemed to be pulsing through him. He knew that he needed to control himself before his anger got the best of his actions. Teddy couldn’t decide if he was more angry or frustrated. He couldn’t understand how Victoire was so completely blind. He raked his fingers through his now ebony-coloured, unruly hair in an effort to control himself. If actions spoke louder than words, then Teddy knew from the way Victoire had acted that night that his feelings were reciprocated. Why did everything have to be so bloody complicated?
‘Easy there, mate,’ said Cameron. He glanced at Teddy from where he was seated leaning against the window idly flipping through the pages a Quidditch magazine.
Teddy inhaled deeply and sat down, unclenching his fists. ‘Fuck, why does she have to be so difficult?’
Cameron sighed, shaking his head. ‘Girls are always like that.’
Teddy turned to Cameron slowly. ‘I don’t understand why she can’t just accept that I like her and stop being so insecure.’
‘Well, seeing you kissing another girl doesn’t exactly confirm your liking her,’ said Cameron. When Teddy glared at him and opened his mouth to defend himself, Cameron held up a hand. ‘Yes, we know Chloe kissed you first… whatever. You still fucked up. Again.’
‘Thanks, I can always trust you to put it delicately,’ said Teddy sarcastically.
Cameron, oblivious as always replied idly, ‘No problem, mate.’
Teddy rolled his eyes and shook his head at his friend. He leaned his forehead against the cool glass of the window and watched as the Scottish countryside passed him by.
After several moments of silence, Teddy finally turned to Cameron. ‘What should I do, though?’
Cameron looked over at Teddy with a puzzled expression on his face. ‘I’ve never seen you so hung up on one girl,’ said Cameron finally.
‘I don’t know, mate,’ sighed Teddy, shaking his head. ‘She doesn’t just seem like one girl to me… She seems like the only one.’
Cameron stared wide-eyed at Teddy. ‘Please tell me you did not just say what I think you did.’
‘You never felt like there was only one girl that you wanted to be with?’ asked Teddy.
‘No,’ said Cameron, horrified. ‘Frankly, the thought alone scares me.’
Teddy rolled his gold eyes and shook his head at Cameron. ‘One day, mate, there’s going to be a girl that you’re going to fall head over heels for.’
Cameron grinned. ‘Don’t hold your breath.’
The vast scarlet train pulled into the barrier slowly. A final cloud of smoke emitted from its front and the train came to a stop. There was a high-pitched whistle and the trains’ doors snapped open. Hogwarts students carrying trunks and various cages poured out of the train. Teddy and Cameron stepped out of the train and onto the barrier. Cameron carrying his cobalt blue trunk and Teddy carrying his scarlet and gold trunk and owl cage that held his owl, Tonks. She was a snow white puffin like his godfather’s deceased owl and named after his mother.
Teddy looked around the platform for his grandmother. He spotted her at the far end of the platform and waved.
Turning to Cameron, Teddy punched his arm and wished him a Happy Christmas.
‘You too, mate,’ said Cameron. ‘Oh and you’d better tell me how Christmas at the Weasley’s goes.’ He winked and headed off towards his family.
Teddy shook his head at Cameron and pushed past the crowd of people to reach his grandmother.
‘Hi, Nana,’ said Teddy, dropping his trunk and owl cage to hug his grandmother.
‘I’ve missed you,’ said Andromeda, hugging his grandson tightly. ‘How have you been, dear? Did you get my last letter?’
Teddy smiled. ‘I’ve been fine, how have you been? And, yes, I did get your last letter.’
‘Good,’ answered Andromeda. She picked up Tonks’ cage and Teddy picked up his trunk. ‘Let’s just go say hello to the Weasleys before we go.’
Teddy groaned. Now he’d have to face Victoire again.
They reached the Bill and Fleur who were hugging Victoire and Dominique while Louis stood off to the side. When he spotted Teddy, he smiled and came running up to him.
‘Hi, Teddy!’ said Louis happily. Louis was ten years old and like his sisters, had inherited his mother’s Parisian looks.
‘Hey, little man,’ said Teddy, ruffling Louis’ hair.
Bill and Fleur hugged Teddy while Dominique smirked and Victoire looked downright uncomfortable.
‘How’s your last year been so far?’ asked Bill.
‘It’s been great,’ said Teddy, his fingers tightening around the handle of his trunk.
‘You’ve been looking out for my girls?’
Teddy could feel his hair gradually turning red and inwardly cursed his metamorphagus genes. He ran a hand through it uncomfortably and swallowed. ‘Yeah.’
‘Good,’ said Bill, smiling. He turned to Andromeda, ‘Molly and Arthur wanted to know if you and Teddy would join us for lunch. Harry and his family will be there as well.’
Teddy silently willed his grandmother to say no. ‘Oh, of course! Teddy and I would be delighted. Right, Teddy?’
Teddy glanced at Victoire to see that she was blushing. ‘Yes,’ he answered, smiling slightly.
‘Teddy!’ called Harry Potter, coming towards him. ‘How have you been?’ Harry hugged Teddy and then stepped back to appraise him.
‘I’ve been great,’ answered Teddy.
‘You’re not nostalgic about your last few months at Hogwarts?’ asked Harry, grinning.
Teddy smiled. ‘Well, I will miss the food.’
Harry laughed as Ginny came over to say hello. James barreled past both his parents and came to stand right in front of Teddy. ‘Teddy! Did you know that I got my Hogwarts letter?’ asked James excitedly, his hazel eyes sparkling.
‘Yeah, your dad told me,’ said Teddy, smiling.
‘Do you reckon I’ll be in Gryffindor?’ asked James, looking up at Teddy.
‘Of course,’ said Teddy, ruffling James’ hair. ‘And I even reckon you’ll make it onto the Quidditch team in your first year – just like your Dad.’
James smiled happily and ran off, no doubt to tell all his little cousins about his next year at Hogwarts.
‘Come on, Teddy,’ said Ginny. ‘We’re just about to start lunch.’
Harry was talking to Andromeda in the kitchen and all the Weasleys and Potters were making their way towards the dining room.
‘Oh, hello, Teddy,’ greeted Molly, with Arthur at her side. ‘I hope you’re hungry.’
Teddy smiled and hugged both and made his way into the dining room where most of the spots had been taken. Teddy took a spot between Dominique and Fred, who were arguing about the Chudley Cannons. Teddy smiled and shook his head as Dominique screamed at Fred and Fred screamed back – both screaming in his ear, although neither noticing. Platters of food appeared at the table and everyone began eating.
A flash of golden blonde crossed Teddy’s peripheral vision and Victoire seated herself across from him. Her face was flushed, as if she had been crying. Puzzled, Teddy began eating and conversing with Fred to stray his thoughts from Victoire.
When Fred stopped talking and began arguing with James, Dominique cut in. ‘So, Teddy, how’s seventh year?’ Dom was one of the rare girls Teddy knew were easy to talk with.
‘It’s all right, I guess,’ said Teddy, smiling. ‘How about you? How’s fifth year? Still chasing away all those boys?’
Dom laughed. ‘It’s okay. And, there are no boys… but, you’re one to ask – with all the girls falling for you.’ She nudged him with her elbow and Victoire dropped her fork.
Both Teddy and Dom looked up. ‘Sorry,’ muttered Victoire, blushing.
Dom frowned at Victoire for a couple of seconds but then turned back to Teddy. ‘And, all those girls?’
Teddy smiled uncomfortably now, feeling Victoire’s gaze on him. ‘Well, there aren’t many—’
Dom snorted. ‘Please, don’t be coy. Everyone knows you’re the most wanted boy at Hogwarts.’
‘There really aren’t that many,’ said Teddy.
Dom raised an eyebrow. ‘I can think of five. And that’s just now.’
Teddy smiled awkwardly. It was purely friendly banter and he knew Dom didn’t mean anything by it. Teddy groaned. ‘You’re exaggerating.’
‘Nope,’ said Dom, grinning. ‘What about you? Anyone special?’
Teddy’s clear, gold gaze locked on Victoire, who didn’t look up from her plate. ‘Nope,’ he said turning back to face Dom.
‘No?’ asked Dom, her olive-green eyes shining.
Abruptly, Victoire dropped her utensils and pushed out of her chair. ‘Excuse me,’ she said, and walked out of the room. The entire room was focused on their own conversations, so only Dom and Teddy noticed Victoire’s departure.
‘What’s wrong with ’Toire?’ asked Dom, confused.
‘I don’t know,’ lied Teddy. As Cameron would say, he’d really fucked up this time.
‘Should I go talk to her?’ asked Dom.
‘No,’ answered Teddy. ‘I’ll go check on her.’
‘Okay,’ replied Dom.
Teddy dropped his napkin and made his way out of the dining room hastily. He knew where Victoire would be – where she’d always gone when they were children. Teddy took the steps of the Burrow’s staircase two at a time. He reached the top landing then open the last door on the left that opened to a room with a small staircase. He shut the door and made his way to the small staircase that lead to the attic. Making sure not to make any noise, Teddy took the steps quietly. Upon reaching the landing he saw Victoire sitting in the corner by the window sill.
‘Vic,’ he whispered softly. He dropped to his knees in front of her just as she looked up to meet his eyes.
‘Go away, Teddy,’ she said softly.
‘What do you want from me?’ asked Victoire desperately. ‘If you’re trying to hurt me back – you’ve succeeded.’
‘You know that wasn’t my intention,’ said Teddy.
‘Oh, and what was your intention exactly?’ asked Victoire harshly.
‘I don’t know!’ shouted Teddy. ‘I feel like I’m always the one apologizing. You’ve hurt me, too. Why am I always the one caving?’
Victoire stayed silent.
‘Look, you can regret what happened between us as much as you want. But I don’t, okay? I’m not ashamed of my feelings. I’ll be the first to admit my mistakes, but I’m sick of feel guilty.’
Victoire avoided Teddy’s gaze and stared out the window at the falling snow.
‘Maybe you don’t remember anything about that night, but I do. I loved being with you because for once you didn’t put any barriers up between us. It was just me and you and it felt great.’
Teddy watched Victoire’s cheeks bloom with colour. He reached out a hand and trailed his calloused fingertips across the length of her cheekbone.
The voice snapped Teddy and Victoire back to reality and Victoire jumped, startled as Teddy’s hand fell away.
Victoire wiped a hand across her face and stood up, walking out of the room.
Teddy sighed, dragging a hand through his dishevelled indigo-coloured hair. He got to his feet and followed where Victoire had just disappeared.
He took his time walking down the stairs. On the third landing, he felt a hand reach out and grab his sweater. Teddy was launched backwards and into an open doorway. He fell into the room and turned around to see Dominique locking the door. She turned to face him, hands on her hips, a determined look in her eyes.
‘I know everything.’
‘What?’ stuttered Teddy. ‘Dom, what’s going—’
‘I noticed something weird about ’Toire when I asked about you yesterday. And now, my suspicions are confirmed.’
‘Look, Dom… I—’ began Teddy only to be cut off by Dominique again.
‘Don’t give me your “I don’t know what you’re talking about” line, Teddy,’ said Dom.
‘Yeah… that’s what I thought,’ said Dom dismissively.
Teddy stared at her in disbelief.
‘What?’ she asked. ‘I’m a little sister, it comes with the territory.’
Author’s Note I know, I know — I’m horrible, I last updated in February. I’m almost done exams so updates will (hopefully) be more frequent.
So, did you guys like this chapter? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Anyway, just out of curiosity: do you like Teddy chapters or Victoire chapters better?
ps. Thank you all so much. For giving this story a chance and for sticking with this story while waiting for my (really) slow updates. I still can't believe it's favourited by like, over 190 users. Thank you to everyone who reads and reviews! :)
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