Chapter 3 : Victoire
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Edited 2nd December 2011.
Long live all the walls we crashed through
All the kingdom lights shine just for me and you
She could still remember the moment even now. She could remember every last detail.
“Gryffindor!” The hat cried.
Everyone at the Gryffindor table jumped to their feet, applauding and shouting.
She rose to her feet slowly, still uncomfortable in her new robes, overwhelmed by this reception. The people at the other tables clapped, though looked outraged. The teachers craned their necks to get a good look at her.
She made her way over to a space, opposite Teddy, who looked ready to explode with happiness that she had been sorted into the house that he had joined the year before.
The Great Hall didn’t quieten until she was seated by another new student, a smiling brunette called Emily she had met on the train.
Even as McGonagall gave her beginning of year speech, eyes were still on Victoire Weasley, the eldest Weasley child.
Those eyes hadn’t left her. Even now, they were fixed on her as she stood a little behind McGonagall, where she had first been sorted. She was to say a few words at the end of year speech, on her last day at Hogwarts. Elle était terrifée.
She had spent her life constantly a source of attention. She was beautiful, first and foremost. She didn’t have the same ethereal quality her mother or aunt had; the Veela blood had been of course diluted. She and her sister still turned heads, all the same. Victoire had never seen the point in denying that.
Secondly, she was a Weasley, and the eldest at that. The Wizarding World was obsessed with the youngest generation of her family. Everywhere they went, people watched, as if they were going to suddenly show super powers, or something. She was the eldest, and great things were expected from her – but she wasn’t sure if the great things people wanted matched her dreams.
Victoire wanted to dance. She wanted to dance in the ballet she went to see in Paris with her aunt, Gabrielle who was a dancer. She wanted to enter the Wizarding Academy for Dramatic Arts and study ballet. Not that she had voiced this to anyone outside her family, excluding Ted and Emily. Dancing would be deemed ridicule; the new interest in understanding Muggles after la guerre hadn’t stretched as far as this.
She wanted to dance, but wasn’t sure if she could. What if people thought it was stupid? What if, worse, they ignored it? What if they didn’t care about her, after she was finished being their Head Girl? This was the worst fear. Perhaps without their attention, she didn’t even exist. Elle n'était rien.
She didn’t know why she had to say anything at the feast. It was a relatively new tradition in the school; one of the Head’s was expected to thank everyone for the school year, thank the teachers, and wish everyone the best of luck; seventh years and younger students alike.
She had planned her little speech out in her head, and practiced the night before it in front of Dominique and Emily until it was flawless. Like her; apparently. She brushed her hair a hundred times like she did every night, and woke up extra early this morning as usual, to make sure she looked her best before leaving the dormitory.
She fought to keep her expression neutral as McGonagall went on. Why hadn’t she made the Head Boy do it? Why did she always have to be the one?
Well, she knew it. She couldn’t look less than perfect, physically or in any other way. The world was watching, waiting for her to fall.
She straightened out her robes slightly. McGonagall was drawing to the end. Victoire struggled to remember the little jokes she had inserted into the speech. They weren’t funny, but they would be expected as part of the perfect delivery.
Her chest tightened. Oh no, she thought, desperately. She was going to vomit.
Dominique had noticed, Victoire knew by her wide eyes. The blonde girl gripped on to her wand. What kind of distraction, Victoire wondered wildly, could cause people not to notice perfect Victoire spewing all over their headmistress?
She tried to focus on her family, taking her mind off things. Albus and Rose seemed to be listening attentively, though looking closely Victoire could see that Al’s eyes had glazed over. James and Fred were playing Gobstones at the end of the table. Lucy and Molly were sitting nearer the front, each with their own friends. Dominique was in the middle, with the Quidditch team.
Dominique would be the next person to “rule” the school the way Victoire had. Molly would make a good Head Girl, so would Lucy, when the time came. Dominique had already secured her place as Quidditch captain and didn’t intend on wavering her concentration with any Head Girl duties. Still though, she’d rule. Already, her forcefulness and confidence had secured this. Victoire only hoped that she’d let herself have a personal life, to let herself be happy.
Like Victoire was.
This little thought, this little feeling began to warm Victoire. It warmed her from the base of the ballet-style slippers hidden underneath the billowing robes, to the soft blonde hair falling over her eyes. It took hold of her coeur, and she wasn’t quite so scared anymore.
It was Teddy.Teddy Lupin, her best friend who was now also her boyfriend. It had always been Teddy.
She lowered her eyes, and remembered. She really remembered.
All eyes were on Victoire Weasley, the eldest Weasley child, the evening of her sorting. Her eyes, though, were trained on Teddy so she wouldn’t panic at all the attention. His smile kept her feeling normal.
Victoire fell behind the others as she trooped to the dormitories. She didn’t much feel like answering more questions about her family. The students here at the school seemed to know more about the Weasleys and Potters than Vic did.
“I should have warned you better, Vic”.
Victoire turned around to see Teddy, his blue hair making him stand out even more than he usually did, to her. She grinned. She knew he had his own friends at school, and was delighted he had come to find her. Not caring if she embarrassed him or not, she bounced over and hugged him.
He hugged her back, though he blushed. Twelve year old boys didn’t hug, she remembered.
“I should have told you, but I thought it would be ok for you. I didn’t know all the Weasleys were as famous.”
She shook her head. “Will it always be like this?”
He frowned. “Yeah, so far anyway. Don’t worry about them though, you’re still Victoire to me.”
He had ruffled her hair, and she straightened it back, smiling.
She had lost sight of this, in the years where the need for perfection had taken over, but she knew now. He loved her; he loved her for being Victoire, not for having perfect hair or perfect marks.
She looked at all the people in front of her, waiting for her address so they could go home.
Their opinion would always matter to her – she had always been self-conscious, a perfectionist, but it would never again stop her from being her.
She had forgotten, with all her worry, that these people were her amis. They had been a kind of family for her for seven years, and she loved them. The wider world might watch what she did, but not the students. They all liked her, and wanted to be friends with her because they liked her. They didn’t care anymore who her parents or aunts or uncles were at all.
She stepped forward, forgetting her speech, but remembering what was important. She didn’t need to be perfect; she just needed to be her. Teddy’s face; absent from the room but ever present in her mind and heart, swam in front of her eyes.
She spoke from her heart, thanking everyone for the school year, and wishing them the best of luck for her future. She didn’t know what she said after, but she was assured it was lovely.
She seemed to glide back to her table, on to the train, and into King’s Cross. She seemed to glide into Teddy’s outreaching arms, not caring who saw.
She would miss her friends at Hogwarts, but wasn’t sad about graduating like the others were. She wasn’t afraid of what would happen in the future. She knew who she was now. She was ready now, to go on, to start living her life, with Teddy by her side.
She left the platform without a backwards glance. She was finished being Victoire Weasley, Head Girl and perfect daughter of the Weasley clan. She saw Molly fretting over the younger cousins and smiled, hoping she too would know what Victoire had needed to learn, and had learned now.
Love is all you need.
I hope my French is in order! Here are the translations!
Elle était terrifiée – She was terrified
Ridicules - ridiculous
la guerre - the war
Elle n'était rien – she was nothing
Cœur - heart
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