“Poor thing, she’s been in such a state ever since,” Dom was saying, sitting on her bed with her legs crossed, flicking through Witch Weekly and letting her freshly painted toenails dry. “I wish there was more that I could do, but I really can’t.”
“Dom!” Lorcan sighed, moving closer from his perch by her wardrobe to pinch her magazine and look her dead in the eyes. “You deliberately avoided my question. In fact, you’ve been avoiding the question all day, hell you’ve been touchy about the subject for weeks. It’s not as if I’ve pushed you or anything…”
“I know you haven’t,” Dom replied gently, shifting slightly so she wasn’t facing him head on. “But I’m not sure if this is something that you really want and are ready for, or if you just idolise it because of what you’ve heard. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be Lorc.”
“Nique,” Lorcan whispered seductively, leaning in close and using her nickname in an attempt to weaken her resolve. “This isn’t a decision I’ve taken lightly you know. Your parents and Louis are out for the whole day and, stupid as it seems, I want our first time to be in your bed, as opposed to in some Hogwarts bed, as homely as it seems. I know I’m ready, the question is, do you want it?”
Dom turned back to look at him again, a tentative look on her face. It had been but a few days since they had returned from Hogwarts and Lorcan had mentioned it in the past. They had all the time in the world. They could at least try. She gave him a small smile and a nod, adding: “If you’re sure.”
For Teddy, routine was a luxury he didn’t have. Whether it was Harry’s renegade schedule or Victoire demanding pregnancy sex at stupid and random times of the day, he found that whenever he settled to do something, something else popped up. However, when he came home from work one evening, Victoire was nowhere to be found. He felt nervous and crept forward into the kitchen, where Hayley was sat at the table, eating a sandwich and she waved cheerily at Teddy as he entered.
“Any news from the Auror office?” Hayley asked, taking a mammoth bite and chewing as she waited for Teddy’s response.
“Malfoy’s finally out, mainly because of Harry,” Teddy said, as he sat down opposite her, attempting to relax as he strained his neck, looking for his wife. “Where are the other two?”
“I dunno,” Hayley frowned, taking another bite and then talking through it, as Teddy raised an eyebrow. “They went out a while back, didn’t say where they were going. Bit weird if I’m being honest. Victoire looked a bit flustered and James looked as though he was going to piss in his pants. I found it a bit amusing but maybe I shouldn’t have.”
“Can I have some of that sandwich?”
Christmas in the Potter household was usually a fun time of year. This year, more than ever, the Potters were close, having shaken off the pain of losing Al over the last two years, especially when he occasionally owled to inform them that he was doing alright. Lily was feeling a lot better about her situation with Lysander after her kiss with Neville, but hadn’t mentioned any of it to her parents, although she had received an interrogation from James, who had been filled in by Dom and was demanding answers. Although James had turned up most days over the beginning of the Christmas period, Lily had seen nothing of Rose, which she figured was probably a good idea. Although she had enjoyed that moment, she was still angry with her cousin and could not believe that Rose would do that to her. Luckily, she probably wouldn’t see her until Christmas Day.
“Oh and Ron, Hermione, Rose and Hugo are coming for dinner tomorrow night.”
“I mean seriously, wow!”
“Lorcan, I heard you the first time.”
Lorcan rolled over onto his belly and grinned like a schoolboy, the covers of Dom’s bed enveloping him almost as much as the soft touch of her body had done. He looked back at her and she was positively glowing. Lorcan kissed her softly and she returned it, running her hand down his chest.
“You were great,” she reassured him. “Truly great. That was so brilliant I can’t tell you.”
“You weren’t half bad yourself Nique,” Lorcan replied with a wink, their lips meeting again as his hands roamed. “What time did you say your parents were back?”
“Not for a few hours at least,” Dom whispered. “Plenty of time…”
When James and Victoire finally returned, it was late and Teddy was anxious. They entered: both looking stupidly excited and Teddy raised an eyebrow as they both tried to look guilty. James winked at Victoire and then went for his room, patting Teddy on the shoulder with a grin as Teddy found himself bemused. He turned back to Victoire, who sat opposite him and grabbed his hands, a wild smile on her face. He opened his mouth, but she shook her head and he kept his mouth shut, suddenly clocking why she was so overjoyed and even before the words left her mouth, he knew exactly what she was going to say and his heart jumped.
“Teddy…” Victoire squealed. “I’m pregnant.”
Teddy roared with joy and jumped to his feet, Victoire doing the same as they embraced, their kiss as passionate as any they had ever exchanged. Victoire was crying she was so happy as she explained that when she had taken another pregnancy test that morning it had been positive and James had overheard her screams of joy so had taken her to St Mungo’s in order for them to confirm it and ensure Victoire was ready for whatever she needed to do in the following months.
“This is one of the happiest moments in my life,” Teddy gasped, tears of his own flowing like he had never cried before. “I mean our wedding obviously but still, this might just beat even that. We’re going to be parents, Vic. You and me! I love you so much it’s unreal.”
“I love you too Ted!”
“Oi! Which of you loves me?” James protested, pulling out a bottle of mulled wine as Hayley whacked him round the head playfully. “I’m serious! I’ve got to raise the little one whilst you two go on alcohol related cruises and have outrageous…”
“James!” Hayley scolded, taking the wine off him and handing it to Teddy before kissing him on the cheek. “Behave yourself Potter.”
“Sorry Hayls,” James chuckled as Teddy and Victoire in turn hugged the pair of them and then poured glasses of the wine. James raised his glass. “To James Lupin.” At this, Hayley hit him in the head again.
Lily tugged at her top as it hung by her side. It was a bad habit she’d gotten into as a child; whenever she was nervous she tugged on her clothing. Her mum had picked up on it, as she had mentioned it. She wished James was there with her. But he’d owled ahead to say that he’d be along later with Teddy and Victoire. Failing James, she’d have at least wanted her dad to be around, but he was at the Ministry with her uncle Ron, finishing up some paperwork. Which meant that Lily was stuck alone with Rose, Hugo and both their mums, a natural recipe for disaster. She was annoyed at the situation and more annoyed that her top wouldn’t reach the exact 57® angle she wanted. She hated it when it did this. Yanking her top one final time, she turned to face the fireplace, as Hugo fell out of it, coughing like mad as he stumbled forwards into his caring aunt’s arms.
“Hello Hugo,” Ginny said caringly. “Still not got the hang of floo?”
Her sentence was interrupted as Rose came flying out of the fireplace, beaming from ear to ear as she embraced her aunt, before exchanging a look with Lily that looked a bit like a smile. Lily responded with a furious glare that quickly shifted as Hermione Weasley strode out of the fire.
“Ginny!” she shouted, embracing her friend. “How’s it been?”
“The usual,” Ginny laughed. “Let’s leave the children in here and go through to the kitchen to catch up, shall we?”
Lily wanted nothing more than to scream to her mother to stay, but her voice failed her and, as the two mums left, chatting away animatedly, Lily’s thoughts became preoccupied with how best to curse Rose into oblivion. Hugo, bless him, tried to talk to Lily and she responded with a non-committal grunt. It was going to be a long few hours.
Lorcan felt he’d been in heaven for hours upon end. As Dom’s dad Bill cooked him a bacon sandwich, her mother Fleur fussed over him, chatting animatedly about Lorcan’s parents and his schoolwork and his Quidditch and practically everything she could possibly have thought of. They both chose to ignore the fact that Dom was sat opposite him, her hair askew and her PJs ruffled. The fact that they had both lost count somewhere in the late teens should have worried him, but instead made him proud and she winked at him from across the breakfast table as Bill served up. They had had very little sleep the previous night, finally succumbing in the very early hours of the morning and Dom’s room reflected their actions. They had decided to ruffle the duvet on the camp bed that her parents had set up for Lorcan, to suggest he had slept there, not beside her the entire night. Lorcan felt increasingly cheerful as he drank from his mug of tea and bit into the warm, juicy bacon. Dom was already halfway through hers, tearing it apart with her teeth with a ferocity that sent Lorcan’s mind racing; memories of their actions flooding him and he had to hide his blush with another hurried bite.
“So what did you get up to last night?” Louis asked, a smirk on his face. Lorcan’s jaw dropped. The little bastard was 12, how did he know about that sort of thing?
“Watched a couple of romantic films, chatted for a bit, slept,” Dom replied casually, saving Lorcan within a second. “The usual sort of stuff Lou.”
“I’m sure,” Louis snorted, earning him a ferocious look from his mother who waved her hand as if to wipe away the tension that had been building, if only in Lorcan’s mind.
“Louis, behave,” she urged. “Dominique is a proud Delacour girl, who would never think about doing that sort of thing until she has at least left school. And Lorcan is a respectable young man, who would never press her into such an act.”
Luckily for Lorcan, Dom was as ice cool as ever in her response, smiling at her mother and quickly agreeing with everything her mum said. Lorcan himself was panicking internally, images of Dom’s part werewolf father ripping him to shreds appearing in his mind, but Bill leaned across, chuckling and murmured: “Don’t worry about it Lorcan, when I was your age…”
Whatever the end of that sentence was, Lorcan did not want to know and was rescued by the appearance of oldest daughter Victoire, with Teddy Lupin in hand. They had flooed in and Dom almost choked on what was left of her bacon, as Mrs Weasley leapt to her feet.
“Victoire! Teddy!” she cried, making room for them at the table. “How are you? What are you doing here? I mean you didn’t owl to tell us you were coming or…”
“No mother, we didn’t,” Victoire replied with a smile, preferring to stand as Teddy ushered her mother back into her seat with reassurances. “But then we didn’t plan on coming until late last night and we didn’t want to bother you so late. But we come with news, good news. The best news.”
“You’ve not got a bun in the oven have you?” Louis piped up, at which point Dom flicked her wand in his direction, zipping up his mouth with a spell, not even bothering with a silencing charm.
“He was getting on all our nerves,” Bill muttered, relieved as Teddy nudged Victoire, who was starting to tear up again. “What is it Vic?”
“Louis was right!” Victoire laughed. “I’m pregnant.”
Fleur dropped her mug of tea.
Any attempts Hugo made to defuse the tension proved fruitless, as Lily glared at Rose whenever she shifted uncomfortably. Every time either girl went to speak to the other, Hugo intervened with pointless chatter, aiming to avoid a confrontation. After what seemed like an age, but in reality was only a few minutes, Rose eventually put her brother’s attempts down with a blunt statement.
“Hugo, no matter how hard you try, neither of us is going to play along, so just shut up and leave it alone.”
“Leave Hugo alone,” Lily snapped, drowning out any reply he was going to make. “It’s not his fault. He’s just trying to make sure that we don’t kill each other before our dads get here. Fat chance of that happening though Hugh,” she added sympathetically. “How could you be such a heartless bitch?”
There it was. In a heartbeat, the mood had swiftly changed from volatile to downright hostile. The accusation seemed to take Rose aback for but a moment, and then she shifted, only slightly, so that the two girls were facing each other, less than a few metres apart. Hugo whimpered.
“Me? A heartless bitch?” Rose laughed dryly. “I’m not the one who snogged another boy just a few weeks after dumping Lysander. In front of him. How much did you want to break the poor guy Lily, did you care for him at all?”
“How dare you!” Lily retorted angrily. “How dare you tell me I don’t care about Lysander! I just needed some relief from him, because, believe it or not Rose, he was the one who cheated on me. He’d broken me beyond belief and Neville made me feel good about myself again. I know it was stupid and harsh to kiss him like in front of Lys but I was so…angry. What’s your excuse?”
“My excuse?” Rose faltered.
“Yes Rose,” Lily all but shrieked. “Your fucking excuse for kissing a boy that you knew I liked and you knew had already cheated on me with one of my cousins, your best fucking friend. You got all high and mighty when Dom kissed him, even though she thought it was Lorcan. You were in no doubt what you were doing. Oh how the mighty have fallen. How does it feel to be amongst us regular sluts Rose?”
Rose flipped out, Lily’s words stinging. She leapt forwards and both girls reached for their wands, disarming each other at the same moment so both their wands went flying. At this point, Rose lunged again and this time made contact, knocking Lily over. However Rose’s own momentum sent her flying and she hit the deck as Lily did, the two now practically next to each other on the floor. Their arms tangled and Rose scratched out, drawing blood on Lily’s cheek. Lily screamed and the girls rolled, smashing into a table and Lily kicked, finding Rose’s gut. Rose caught Lily in the face again before Lily caught a fistful of Rose’s hair and pulled hard. Rose’s voice hit new levels as the two mothers, hearing the commotion, burst into the room, separating the two girls with their wands. Each mother rushed to their respective child before turning on them angrily.
“What happened?” they demanded, both looking briefly at the terrified Hugo who shrugged.
“She kissed the boy I like in front of me!” Rose and Lily shrieked at the same moment, before locking eyes and Lily’s jaw dropped.
“You like Neville?” she whispered, her voice scandalous.
“Yes,” Rose admitted. “That’s why I got so angry. I know you didn’t know, but that’s no excuse.”
Lily went to snap another retort but by this point, the fireplace had glowed green and whatever retort she had was lost in her throat as James entered the room and surveyed the situation. A split-second later, Hayley joined him, with Teddy and Victoire not far behind.
“What happened here?” James asked, rushing over to a bleeding Lily.
“She likes Neville,” Lily simmered. “Which explains a lot really.”
James nodded appreciatively, the situation clear to him within moments as his mother rounded on him.
“You knew about this?” she demanded.
“Sort of,” James admitted. “I never realised they’d come to blows over it, I thought they’d figure it out. Dom said you were going to apologise Rose.”
“I was,” Rose growled. “Until she called me a heartless bitch.”
James knew that as tempting as it was, pointing out that Rose had indeed been a heartless bitch was not going to help the situation. Instead, he pointed to Teddy and Victoire, a big grin on his face.
“There’ll be another James in the family in 9 months’ time!” he grinned, earning him another thump from Hayley as Teddy face-palmed.
“We’re having a baby,” Victoire explained, glaring at James as Hermione and Ginny cottoned on. Lily squealed briefly, but Rose continued to look at her with contempt. The two girls were still shooting evils as James took his sister to one side to clean her up. Rose was talking reluctantly to her furious mother, as Ginny fawned over Teddy and Victoire. Suddenly, without warning, a patronus flew in the window. A shimmering blue dog landed on the floor in the room and everyone turned to face it as it howled in pain. Ron’s voice came from it and the sheer sound of it shook everyone to the core, even before they acknowledged what it had said in Ron’s crying voice.
“Harry…Harry…he’s…Oh god no!”
Panic set in and then, just a few seconds later, an owl landed, and the letter it dropped boomed the life destroying words in a very official voice.
“It is my sad duty that Mr Harry Potter, Head Auror, was murdered by Draco Malfoy at 12:32 this afternoon. Our condolences for your loss.”
A/N: Bet you didn't see that coming did you? ;)
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