love in the shape of a heart
Time passes. He comes and goes with the strips of sun that fall and flee. Autumn is at its peak now – birdsongs string through the woods as easily as her own dreams do. They are light on water, breath on fog, footprints on sand and all the things that could have been their own. She dreams of springtime and Sunday mornings and he does not come.
She isn’t in love with him. But she could be and she wants the chance to know.
She sees him sometimes – here and there. Laughing with Lucy. Dancing with Dominique. Talking loudly to Albus. He is always full of life. Barely a few weeks have passed since Victoire and he is again brimming with new vigour. She knows he sees his life as before Victoire and after Victoire, but one day, she will change him.
Teddy and Molly. It sounds like oil on cotton canvas, colors peeling to age. Teddy and Molly. To her, it sounds like all the things that make up someday
On misty mornings, a bird outside her window sings against her window. She can hear it every day. A sweet song like dusk and rose petals. Molly wonders why it is alone so much. Lucy tells her that it is waiting for someone else by her window side.
Molly knows how that feels. A life by the windowpane is not an easy one to live.
She tells herself to forget slowly.
But she can’t. Life is beautiful like that. It is winter mornings alone and swallows and being halfway there.
Days pass. One, two, one, two. She counts them, pearls by the azure sky.
And then, him.
He comes and goes and they are waves by the beachside, push and pull. He makes her laugh and she makes him forget. It is slow and simple.
It is happening.
She wants him to look at her more. She wants to make him laugh once more.
Molly hopes that he will notice. There are so many Sunday evenings they spend near each other. She laughs and hopes.
One Sunday, they argue at her grandmother’s house. Dinnertime and outside and wet grounds and leaves everywhere. It’s something silly and stupid and they argue and he sweeps her off her feet. He’s always been good at that
Put me down – put me down!”
He laughs it off. “Scared, are we?”
“You’re going to drop me! Put me down!”
Molly squeals in terror. By now, her cousins have assembled around and most of them are grinning. They’ve all been in Molly’s position before as children, but laugh. Victoire wears a nonchalant expression on her placid features, but her eyes look murderous.
“Say sorry or I might just drop you.”
He pretends to fall over and swings Molly dangerously close to the ground. She screams when she nears the ground and he pulls her away.
“Teddy Lupin, you absolute – “
“Wouldn’t want that happening again, would we, Molly? Now say it – “
She does. Reluctantly and biting her tongue. “Sorry.”
“I said sorry! Now put me down!”
He does and the moment ends. Some part of her wishes he had never let go. But in front of him, she is loud and herself and Molly-the-friend.
The nights fade into the air. Stars appear and disappear and Molly finds and loses. She is contented, she tells herself. But that does not mean she does not want more. They are sea breeze and foam and all the beautiful things that the world does not need. Her days feel emptier by the minute. She talks to her family and is grateful that at least they can see her for what she is. She serenades the woods outside her home with her violin, watching the melancholic echoes stain the trees.
The next time she sees him, it is in her Aunt Angelina’s rose garden. Dominique has walked with her and the two of them stay in a warm silence. There are more words to be wished for than said between them. Sundays are now her favorite day of the week. He stands among the dead and dying flowers, which have been stripped of their vibrancy by the coming cold.
Molly bites back the urge to approach him. Within a few seconds, Victoire appears from the other side. A thorn has scraped her cheek and she holds her hands to it, grimacing. They stop and stare at each other. They have seemed to have reached an understanding.
“Teddy,” Victoire breathes and it is hope and the past, present and future. Beautiful, beautiful Victoire. Stars and moonlight and dreams.
Molly fades back and Victoire seems to rise forth, like the dawn rays by the ocean. She walks to him, with a small, knowing smile on her face. A breeze passes between them all, looping through the bare stumps and deadened leaves on the ground to the roses before Molly.
She pulls him closer.
“I need to talk to you,” she whispers. “I – I’ve missed you.”
“I don’t know about this, Vic - “
“You know how I feel. Give us another – “
Molly hopes for it and he says it and he ends all things. “No.”
And Victoire who is victory and winning and conquest is finally defeated.
Dominique frowns in disgust and a small, burning glaze of happiness spreads throughout Molly.
“Come on,” she tells Dominique, “let’s go. We shouldn’t interrupt them.”
It is insignificant. It is fireflies to stars, but it is resoundingly, unforgettably, a small step. Molly knows it is wrong to feel happy when her own cousin lies fallen only a few feet away, struck dumb. She knows it is wrong for her to want Teddy to be hers.
But she wants to be happy. After everything – the months of cold and loneliness and the sunsets that ended in a brief dip into the horizon – she wants to be happy again.
Is that so wrong?
Dominique walks before her, as placid as ever. Molly keeps her eyes on her feet as she walks, feeling her heartbeat rise with the rustling trees.
It is some kind of beginning.
This chapter's for Rachel - for the unyielding support and kindness. :)
We're almost done! There's only about one or two more chapters to go! For those of you who have constantly been supporting this story, I cannot thank you enough. If you're interested in what happens to Teddy and Molly after the timeline of this story, I suggest you read the following:
1. The Sound of Silence: while TedMolly is not the main ship, you can see them flitting in and out of the story; this focuses more on Victoire and Teddy and Molly's later relationship.
2. orange groves - one-shot; this features the ending to my Teddy/Molly chronicle and what happens to them.
Thanks so much for reading! Please don't forget to review! :D