Chapter 8 : Chapter Nine. Temperaments and Temperatures.
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Chapter Nine. Temperaments and Temperatures.
By the time Vic gets let out of the hospital wing it is the end of February and is close to Easter. I have been exchanging letters with Bill and we think that the reason Vic will always have scars from her collar bones to the start of the base of her rib cage is because the counter curse was not used immediately. Vic doesn't mind, she told me jokingly that maybe she won't be so beautiful anymore, but her mother is upset. Fleur Weasley wrote her daughter a long letter telling her that all scars mean is that Vic is brave, and she shouldn't be ashamed to show them. I agree and believe that Vic will always be beautiful to me no matter what. In a moment of boldness I told her so and her face flushed. It mayn't have been the best idea to tell her I fear. People have been saying she is beautiful since birth and the complement is usually something unpleasant for her to hear.
As the end of the year approaches the amount of N.E.W.T. homework that the seventh year teachers are doling out seems to double. Easter break will be mostly spent shoving through the vast piles of the stuff. My marks slipped a bit while Vic was in the hospital because I couldn't seem to concentrate on anything else. She is still always at the center of my thoughts.
We have begun casually touching one another, which was something we never did before. At breakfast her arm might brush against mine, or while we are studying our shoulders might be just close enough to come into contact occasionally. It is making me into a nutter. I mean Merlin's pants! She is so breathtaking that I can't seem to keep my head on straight when our skin is touching, it is mad. Blimey I love her.
Madame Aeolus has forbidden Vic from flying, or running, or dueling, or anything particularly strenuous, because she is still recovering. If she gets worn out it is difficult for her to catch her breath, and I think her chest is still hurting her. I feel bad that my magic wasn't strong enough to heal her completely, and feel guilty that she still has pain. Vic just waves away any concern, if I notice her wheezing. She is so headstrong and brave, stubborn and beautiful.
Since she slept for so long her magical hair has grown to an enormous length. She is a bit like that beautiful girl with the never ending braid in the muggle fairy tale that Harry used to read me, the one locked in the tower no doors. Maybe that Rapunzel chick was a Veela, if Vic's hair, which now can brush the tops of her toes while she stands, is anything to judge by. I think it's cool and have begged Vic not to chop it off. I don't know much about girls, but having hair that long that you never have to brush must be pretty wicked. It is a standing joke between Vic and I, and to punish me for making her keep her mop she has taught me how to braid it and makes me do it at breakfast every morning.
My mate Will says that I am either barmy or a poof, but he's joking. I know he has guessed about Vic. We don't really talk about birds much, he's been sweet on Mary-Anne Milgrave the Griffindor chaser for months and hasn't said anything. We mostly just play quidditch together and tease each other in classes. Besides Vic, Will is my best mate.
How are you and papa? Have the spring storms begun yet? I was wondering if Teddy and his grandmother might come spend Easter with us at Shell Cottage. Andromeda does not enjoy having holidays at her retirement home, and it would be wonderful to have her company. If this is too much it is not a problem. I have not told Teddy of these plans. I hope you are all well, Dom and Louis are happy,
I would be very pleased if Andromeda and her grandson were here for the break. Your father grumbles but he will come around. Invite them post haste, but tell Teddy he will be sleeping on the chesterfield as our cottage est tres petite. The storms have begun with a fervour so be sure to bring your bottes. Je t'aime,
I sit on the chilly roof of the owlry with my broom beside my, gleefully reading the letter from Maman. Beneath the swooping silver writing and francophone spelling mistakes was a lot of love. Teddy would be coming for Easter. I jump gracefully of the edge of the roof and on to my Nimbus Omega. When I am flying all my Ravenclaw caution seems to disappear, and I cannot even bring myself to worry that Madame Aeolus has forbidden me from getting on my broom. After several lazy loops of the astronomy tower I descend towards the Quidditch Pitch. Half the reason I chose such an icy perch to read my correspondence was to be able to watch Teddy's ... I mean Griffindor's practice.
The bulk of the team has left the pitch for the locker rooms by the time my feet touch the turf. Leaning against the stadium edge I try to catch my breath. My chest feels like an angry pixie is fluttering around inside it. Teddy is hovering out by the goal hoops, practicing maneuvers with Mary-Anne. He rapidly dives, skillfully catching a wayward quaffle. The two players make a few more shots and saves before leaving the air and walking towards me. They are both sweaty and red-faced, despite the cold morning, and are both grinning ear to ear.
"What do you know, Ted, it's your lady love!" Mary-Anne exclaims.
Teddy's hair turns from yellow to red faster than a stop light. He splutters something unintelligible before smacking Mary-Anne in the shoulder and greeting me,
Marry-Anne enters the locker rooms leaving Teddy and I alone.
The words spill out of me to fast to be recognizable.
"Sorry?" Teddy asks for clarification.
"Would you like to go to shell cottage for Easter break?"
My sentence is carefully annunciated, but I am staring at my shoes.
"I was going to hang out with my grandmother this Easter, Vic, but thanks for the invite."
I hasten to explain the contents of my correspondence with Maman. As I do Teddy's expression changes from apologetic to excited,
"I've got to ask my gran, but blimey Vic that sounds great. I'm sure that she'd love to come."
I am extremely pleased at the prospect of spending the holiday with Teddy. We have been rubbing along really well, and I know that any time longer than a day spent away from him would be painful for me.
"Vic, come on in here before you catch your death."
Teddy is holding the door of the locker room open for me. I enter and am pleased to find we are the only two there. I have nothing against Teddy's team, but they are always trying to get me to converse with them if we are in the same room. Small talk isn't really my thing.
"I thought the matron told you not to fly Vic." He admonishes me gently.
Teddy has been more protective of me than a niffler with nine kits recently. I shrug and smile at him, while he tries to look stern. I take out my wand and non verbally start to clean off the mud spattered on Teddy's nose. Our faces are quite near, and as soon as Teddy notices this a blush creeps up his neck. I sit on one of the benches and Teddy starts taking of his qudditch gear. The keeper armor that I gave him for christmas has already softened and shaped to Teddy's broad shoulders. Before I can look away he has pealed of his sweaty flying robes and is standing before me in nothing but a pair of jockeys.
As kids we frequently saw each other in our underwear and thought nothing of it. In his underwear now Teddy's child body is far from my mind. His forearms are thick and muscled, his biceps prominent. My eyes stray across his shapely pectorals and down to his extremely defined abs. Blimey I love quidditch. I bite my lower lip to keep myself from drooling and let my eyes continue there descending journey. Passing over his belly button and down to the elastic of his briefs causes me to blush and look back at his face. He wears a strange hungry expression on his face that I have never seen there. His hair is bright magenta and his eyes are dark with something. Suddenly I recognize the emotion that he is feeling. I have seen it on the faces of countless other boys and have not enjoyed it, but strangely seeing it on Teddy's face is not displeasing. The emotion is lust.
Vic's eyes seem to caress me. She sits on a bench, the top of her head level with my stomach. Her slivery hair surounds her in a diaphanous curtain, reminiscent of an invisibility cloak. When she bites her full bottom lip and I nearly groan out loud. I am not unaffected by this situation and quickly, before Vic notices the result, I turn and rush into a shower booth. I yank the curtain closed and turn the water on as cold as it will go. Morgana's tit, that was awkward.
When I finally leave the shower, after I have calmed down, it is to find Vic waving her wand in a complex weaving motion behind her head. Her hair knots itself into an intricate six strand braid, laying down her back in a broad ribbon.
"Let's go eat."
I say gruffly after I've dressed. We wander back up to the castle and into the great hall. After I have eaten four bowls of porridge, and Vic's had an apple and a peice of toast we part ways. I really must do some studying, as I have three essays due before the break. I mustn't let my imagination make free with the moment in the locker room.
Several hours later my brain is feeling like a wrung sponge. I gather my books from the table in the Griffindor common room and head for the library. I need to look up the exceptions to Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration. Lugging my bag through a sixth floor corridor I meet the prefect Melanie Fern. She looks a bit lost without the commanding presence of Jessica Patil beside her. She glares at me but doesn't say a word. Patil was always the brains of the operation, and was the one who came up with the biting comments. The library greets me with a dusty quiet coolness. I wander through the stacks into the transfiguration section. "Accio Gamp book." I summon softly knowing that if I am caught I will insight the wrath of Madame Pince.
'Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration states that no food may be conjured from nothing, this however dose not stipulate for inanimate-to-animate transfiguration resulting in an edible animal. For example if a wizard were to transform a desk into a pig, then slay the pig and eat it that wizard would be able to find a way around Gamp's Law.' I chuckle hoarsely at the thought of eating a desk/pig, wondering if it would taste a bit woody. Blimey I am knackered, simple research has got me seriously contemplating eating desks. Without further resistance I ease into sleep, my head slides off my palm and lands with a gentle thunk on the table.
The library is quiet and dark. The door opens after 'Alohamora' and then I enter. All the teachers have been keeping such a close eye on me that my protection charm is mostly useless for looking in the restricted section. I have yet to give up on wand kata, and have concluded that it was my inexperience and distraction that lost me that duel with Jessica. I am determined not to let it occur again. After I have perused the shelves on offensive dueling at my leisure, I head for the door my head full of information. What follows is mostly because I wasn't paying attention but also could be blamed on the fact that I was recently steeped in texts on the subject of famously vicious battles. Among others the ones between Grindelwald and Dumbeldore, Voldemort and Potter, and Merlin and Morgana have been historically documented and recounted in a fascinating text titled 'Moral Warfare. From the 18th to the 21st centuries by Warren Piece'. Somebody rose up before me, directly in my path, and I freaked out. Firing off a stunner before the figure could continue its assault I felt proud at my quick reactions. That is, until I found out who it was that I'd knocked out.
Teddy lay his limbs akimbo, full length on the dusty library carpet.
"Oh my." falls out of my mouth as I drop to my knees beside him. "Renervate! Oh Teddy I didn't know it was you. I'm so sorry!"
He groans as he comes to then squints up at me through the darkness. "Vic." Impossibly a large smile spreads across his face. His hair changes from the bright orange of surprise to a sunny yellow for happiness.
"You could have just asked if you wanted to get me on my back you know." he teases.
I know a blush is creeping up my cheeks, and I hit him lightly on the shoulder for the innuendo. After we have both risen, brushed of our robes, and collected our books we leave the library together.
"I really didn't mean to stun you, Teddy." I say, my voice whispery form mortification.
"Your aim says otherwise, fair lady." He looks at my dismayed expression and adds "Don't worry about it Vic. What's a few stunners between friends?"
Without question Teddy starts to walk me in the direction of Ravenclaw tower. The corridors are icy and a strong wind rattles the old windows with sharp gusts. My school robes are insufficient for keeping me warm and when I shiver Teddy throughs a large arm around my shoulders.
"Better, luv?" he asks smiling down at me.
My flighty words have again deserted me at the pleasant sensation of Teddy's strong form so close to me. I nod. We are almost at the eagle door knocker when Teddy spins me around, picks me up, and wraps me in a tight hug. When he speaks, his voice is quiet, his warm breath tingling down my neck.
"Thanks for inviting me for Easter, Vic."
I respond softly, "I didn't want to spend all that time away from you, even if it was just a long weekend."
I can feel him smile against me. Just as he sets me down I do something that surprised me as much as it seemed to surprise him. I kiss Teddy on the cheek. He seems faintly stunned as he bids me goodnight and wanders away. The eagle door knocker asks
"I can cause a sudden heart rate increase, loss of memory and overall brain function. What am I?"
My brain seems to have been invaded by wrackspurts and my thoughts are slow to reach the tip of my tongue. I remember the kiss with Teddy and the way he made my heart flutter like fairy wings and say to the irritatingly perceptive bronze fitting
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