Chapter 8 : Chapter Eight
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“Where did you come from?” he asked.
“My mother’s womb,” Victoire laughed, putting down her magazine and leaning back in her seat. “She’s not letting me move in.”
“But I’m going to move in anyway.”
“Oh!” Teddy gave the woman a bright smile and crossed the room to join her at the table. “You’re crazy to go against Fleur but that’s great news.”
Victoire reached up and passed her fingers through the man’s currently brown hair, smiling warmly. “I don’t see what the big problem is,” she said with a shrug. “She’ll just have to get over it.” They shared a quick kiss before Teddy got up to make dinner and Victoire went back to her reading. “So why did they call you into the hospital the day after Christmas?” she asked, not lifting her eyes away from the magazine.
“You know St. Mungos. They can never keep track of their staff,” Teddy replied as he placed a few chicken breasts into the cooker. “I’m being moved to the children’s ward after the New Year.”
Teddy leaned against the counter and grabbed an apple to snack on while he waited for dinner to cook. “Who knows? I guess they need a Healer who actually likes kids.”
“And since when do you like kids, Mister Lupin?” Victoire laughed, setting her magazine down and folding her arms across her chest.
“Since I found out I was going to be moved to the children’s ward?”
Victoire rolled her magazine up and gave Teddy’s backside a playful slap with it as he walked by. “Kids love you though. Mind you, I’d hate to have to see your face every day.”
Teddy let out a sarcastic laugh and snatched the magazine out of the woman’s hand. He tapped the top of her head with it and messed up her silvery blonde hair before hurrying off towards his bedroom. On the way in, he let out a loud cry as he nearly tripped over a bag in the doorway. He slapped his hand against the wall to keep him upright and frowned. “Vic?” he called in to her.
“Yes?” came her innocent reply.
“This bag looks awfully familiar but it’s not mine,” he said, tapping his foot impatiently.
“Oh well....” The sound of a chair scraping the floor met Teddy’s ears and soon, Victoire joined him in the doorway. “I was hoping to stay here tonight. I thought it’d maybe give my mum a chance to cool off.”
Teddy smirked and gave her a curt nod. “’Course you can stay. You don’t have to ask. I’ll just set up the spare room.”
Victoire widened her eyes at her boyfriend and began to protest but when Teddy began to laugh, she fell silent.
“I was kidding, Vic. Sheesh, women; they can’t take a joke anymore.”
An hour or so later, the two sat down to have a dinner consisting of chicken, crushed chillies and pan-fried potatoes.
“How’s Louis? Is he enjoying his time away from Hogwarts?” Teddy asked.
Victoire smirked into her wine glass and nodded. “Oh yeah, he’s enjoying it alright.”
Teddy raised an eyebrow questioningly and gave her a look to explain further.
“I sort of caught him and Benjamin in a rather compromising position a few days ago,” she chuckled, setting her glass down and taking another bite of her dinner.
Teddy widened his eyes in shock and bit down on his bottom lip to hold back his laughter. “That’s not awkward at all,” he laughed, pushing the last of his food around on his plate. “I take it he’s doing well then!”
After dinner, Teddy had decided to get started on some medical reports for work and by the time nightfall came, he still wasn’t finished.
“Teddy, come to bed,” Victoire whined, sometime after midnight.
He muttered something inaudible under his breath and nodded. “In a minute.”
“You’ve been saying that for the last three hours,” Victoire laughed as she made her way into the kitchen and began raiding the refrigerator.
“Yeah, I know but....” He glanced up and instantly stopped writing when he noticed Victoire in her pyjamas: a t-shirt and a pair of extremely short shorts. “Uh, what?”
“I changed my mind.” He set his quill down and a large grin broke out over his lips. “I’ll come to bed.” He leapt out of his chair and hurried down the hallway towards the bedroom, leaving Victoire confused.
She followed him into the bedroom and smirked at the sight of him removing his shirt. “After all these years,” she whispered, walking to stand behind him. “My legs still manage to make you stop working.” She slipped her arms his around his waist and pressed her lips to the spot in between his shoulder blades.
“Come on, Miss Weasley,” Teddy laughed, pulling her over towards the bed. “It’s way past your bedtime.”
The next morning, Teddy woke up to someone knocking on the front door. He hesitantly crawled out of bed and pulled on a shirt before making his way to the door, still groggy with sleep. He stopped, mid-yawn, when he saw Albus standing in the doorway with a huge grin slapped on his face. “Al?”
“Hi Teddy!” Albus said happily, side-stepping Teddy and walking into the apartment. “I hope you don’t mind me dropping over. It’s just that James has been wrecking my head and I needed to get away from him.”
“Uh...sure, that’s – that’s no problem,” Teddy said in a mild state of confusion. He closed the door and locked it before heading into the kitchen to make some coffee.
“Can I have some?” Albus asked, a hint of laughter reflecting in his tone of voice.
“What, coffee? Since when do you drink coffee?” Teddy laughed.
“Tea’s fine.” Albus noisily tapped his fingers against the kitchen counter and hummed under his breath while Teddy made the tea. “I like coming here,” he announced. “It makes a nice change to what I have to put up with at home.”
Teddy slid the mug over to the boy with a sigh and shook his head. “I love having you here, Al; you know I do but –”
“But you’re too busy shagging Victoire and I so rudely interrupted you. Yeah, I get it. I can leave if you want.”
“Yes – I mean no! God, Al.”
“So what is it then?”
“I just don’t think it’s a good idea that you hide here rather than face the problems you have at home,” Teddy said with a shrug.
“I don’t have any problems at home though,” Albus said, making a face at his own lie. “I just don’t like being around James when he’s in one of his moods.”
“Which is nearly all the time,” Teddy muttered under his breath.
“It’s Christmas, Teddy!” Albus cried, slamming his mug down onto the table so hard the tea spilled out onto the wooden surface. “And James is acting like a complete prick. I should have booked him into one of those dog kennel places for the holidays.”
Teddy spluttered with laughter and wiped the coffee off his chin before getting up and fetching a cloth to mop up Albus’ spilled tea. “There’s still time to do that,” he chuckled, running the cloth over the front of his t-shirt and making the coffee stain worse. He swore under his breath and excused himself to put on a fresh shirt.
“Make sure to put some clothes on first if you plan to get up,” he said to Victoire when he spotted her waking up in the reflection of the mirror. “I don’t think your cousin would be too pleased to see you in a pair of knickers.”
Victoire grabbed the pillow from underneath her head and threw it at Teddy before rolling over and going back to sleep.
“Is Vic here?” Albus asked as soon as Teddy walked back into the kitchen.
“Yeah, Fleur’s not too impressed with the idea of her moving in with me,” Teddy said, grabbing the two empty mugs and flinging them into the sink. “Her parents think she’s still a child or something.”
“I don’t think what Fleur’s doing is very fair,” Albus said, rubbing his finger over a dent in the table. “I mean, Louis’ boyfriend lives with them and who knows what they get up to when they aren’t there.”
“Benjamin’s planning on moving out anyway,” Teddy said quietly. “He says he’s overstayed his welcome by about a year.”
“He gets along great with everybody though,” Albus cried out. “Do you know if he’ll be moving far?”
“Here, I think; London. Which is a bit of a trek from where Shell Cottage is.”
“He’s always wanted to live in London though,” Albus told the man. “He said so himself when he first started dating Louis.”
“Maybe Louis will move in with him...no matter what Fleur and Bill thinks.”
Victoire headed home later that day and the second she stepped through the front door, Fleur began to demand where she was for the night, who she was with and what she had done.
“Mum, I don’t think that’s a very good idea,” Louis said from his spot on the couch.
“What’s not a very good idea?” Fleur asked, whirling around to face her son.
“Asking Vic where she was...who she was with...and what she was doing.” He lifted his eyes away from the book he was reading and gave his mother a grin which only made Fleur’s thunderous mood even worse.
“You were at Teddy’s, weren’t you?” Fleur said as she rounded on her eldest daughter once again.
“Yes I was and for the record, mother, I’m not a child anymore!” Victoire yelled, pushing past the woman and throwing herself down onto the couch next to Louis. “I was at Teddy’s, with Teddy and I just needed a place to sleep. I wanted to get away from you for a while. Is that such a crime?”
Louis raised his eyebrows at Victoire’s words but remained silent.
“You wanted to get away from me?”
“Mum, Vic has a point,” Louis spoke up. “She’s not a kid anymore. She’s twenty-one but you still treat her like she’s seven. She has a boyfriend who’s been a part of this family since the day he was born. If you can’t trust someone like Teddy with Vic, you might as well not trust anybody with her.”
Victoire gave her little brother a small smile and drew him into a tight hug. “Thanks Louis,” she whispered before pressing a kiss to his cheek. “You should run for Minister for Magic when you’re older. I bet people would love you.”
Louis laughed quietly and marked the page he was on. He slid the book over onto the coffee table in front of him before wrapping his arms around his sister’s shoulders and hugging her back. Fleur sucked in a deep breath and left the room without Louis and Victoire noticing.
“And I know you,” Louis laughed. “You did not just need a place to sleep,” he added, poking the girl in the ribs and smirking.
“I’m not discussing this with you,” Victoire chuckled, diving off the couch and hurrying into the kitchen.
“And I know Teddy too!” Louis called in after her. “Slick git can’t ever keep his hands off you.” He gave a dramatic sigh and pressed his hand to his forehead, only to have a banana chucked at the back of his head. “Ow!” he cried, smoothing his hand through his hair. “What was that for?”
“For assuming stuff about Teddy that isn’t true.”
“What, is he a gentleman or something?”
“Yes, he is!”
“Only in front of our parents actually,” Louis muttered.
“What was that?!”
Victoire appeared in the kitchen doorframe and placed her hands on her hips. “I can’t wait until you go back to school.”
“Don’t say that,” Louis whined, climbing over the back of the couch and walking into the kitchen behind his sister. “I’m dreading it.”
“Why? Oh Louis, is this about that jumped-up cousin of ours?”
“...maybe.” He scraped the toe of his shoe on the tiled floor and shrugged. “If only you knew how much he’s changed.”
“Does Aunt Ginny know about what he’s up to?” Victoire snapped in annoyance.
“No!” Louis cried, holding his hands up in front of him. “And she’s never going to know.”
“He’s not going to get away with this,” Victoire muttered and with that final thought the conversation ended.
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