Chapter 2 : Chapter 2
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Hermann Waldorf had been one of the best keepers in Europe, falling in love with the French teams’ healer almost 25 years ago. The two had eloped, and Jacqueline Peltier Waldorf left behind everything she knew, to move to Munich. They had raised their four sons and daughter as ‘quidditch brats’, with Jacqueline homeschooling the children until they were old enough for wizarding school. All of Dominique’s brothers had gone to Durmstrang. But at Jacqueline’s insistence, perhaps out of homesickness after all her years away from her beloved Paris, her daughter was enrolled at her alma mater, Beauxbatons.
For years, Hermann and Jacqueline had juggled the rigors of the professional quidditch lifestyle, with their commitment to family, and over time, had gotten close to a number of families within the international quidditch circle. The Krums, Hawkwsworths, Lundstroms, and Waldorfs had gotten fairly close, often leaving their children with one another so as to avoid disrupting schooling more than necessary. Though the African proverb said it ‘takes a village to raise a child’, in Dominique and Alex’s case, it took several quidditch teams—four to be exact.
The two had gotten close, in spite of the vast age difference, though both had ended up at schools in different parts of the continent. Alex’s father insisted that his son study at Durmstrang in his native Scandinavia, though his mother, Ana Lundstrom—one of Transylvania’s best seekers until her death during the last world cup—had considered sending her son to England so he could attend Hogwarts with his childhood best friend Avery Hawksworth (of later England quidditch fame). Martin however had put his foot down. His son would attend the same school as his older sister, and the rest of the family before them.
Martin Lundstrom, retired Nordic keeper, had supported his wife’s career on the Transylvanian team, and then later, his daughter Tina’s, as he coached the Nordic team following Ana’s death. While his wife chased after snitches, Martin managed everything, from the children, to the finances, to any potential trade offer that came Ana’s way. His wife’s death was a wakeup call for him, as he shifted his attention from his wayward son whose lack of quidditch skill left him no real job prospects, as far as Martin was concerned, and towards the daughter whose quidditch skill surpassed that of her mother. Martin had encouraged his daughter to try for the Nordic team, and had signed on himself as a coach. Alex’s passion for dragons had been a relief to Martin, though it was disappointing that his son would not follow in his footsteps and Keep for the Nordic (or even Transylvanian for that matter) team. Although Martin was relieved that Alex had found something to do, he maintained little contact with his Dragonologist son.
Alex, though he missed the ‘quidditch brat’ lifestyle, was relieved at this, and relished the independence he gained upon failing at the sport his family’s lives had revolved around. Upon graduating from Durmstrang, Alex had worked closely with the Romanian ministry in repairing the dragon sanctuary, which had previously suffered damage due to the first Wizarding War, and found himself running the reserve shortly after. The fact that Dominique, four years his junior, had decided to join him at the ‘Sanc’ as it was affectionately called by the European dragonology community, had meant the world to him, as it implied that their complicated relationship had the potential to resume.
Alex thought back to the summers spent sneaking around at quidditch matches, the two of them running off to the locker room for a quick snog. Although they attended different schools, summers were spent together. Quidditch matches, which had previously felt like extended-un-related-family reunions, gradually evolved into clandestine dates. Dominique’s brothers, upon finding out, had been disapproving at best, with Hans, the oldest, threatening to kill him. Francois and Fritz, who had been Alex’s closest friends at Durmstrang, had been less than pleased, while Greg who had looked up to him when they were younger, had ignored Alex completely. Dominique’s decision to end things after a scattered series of hookups (they had been eachother’s first everything), and a rocky attempt at a relationship, had been his source of redemption among the Waldorf men, though it had simultaneously broken Alex’s heart.
Dominique had loved Alex since she had known what love was. But in her mind, that wasn’t enough. There was a love that came from growing up together. And a love that came from the thrill of the chase. She also loved him in a way that first lovers do. But she felt as though she loved him for all the wrong reasons. And it broke her heart to not be able to love him in the way that he deserved. Which was why she had ended it. He needed someone who was less familiar. Someone who would love him for who he was. Someone who would take a risk for him and trust him, rather than knowing from childhood that he was worthy of that trust. He deserved someone who would take a risk for him. A risk Dominique didn’t have to take. It was that lack of risk that had led her to him. It was so unfair in her mind, and there was guilt that accompanied it. She would always love Alex. But she would never be in love with him.
When Alex had asked her if she wanted to work at the Sanc, Dominique had been hesitant. She did not want their relationship to resume, and had made that clear to him. Alex had agreed. If he was to be her boss, it would be messy to pursue a relationship with her. The two had come to agreeable terms, and Dominique had signed a contract with the Romanian Dragon Sanctuary, to work as an intern for a year, followed by a year-long fellowship, and two years of specialization in either research, magizoological healing, or any field within the realm of dragonology. After those four years, she would get her certification in dragonology, and could then leave him, and their past, behind. Four years of ‘just friends’ couldn’t be that difficult, could it?
She should have known better than to expect him to follow the terms that they had agreed to. Alex, for all of his good qualities, was extremely lazy. Efficient, as he put it. He didn’t believe in risks. He did what was safe, easy, and guaranteed to work out. He came back to her because he didn’t know how to love anyone else. He had never tried to. And it was this very trait that had driven Dominique away. Alex had known he would need help during the upcoming months at the Sanc, and that was why he had asked her to come work there. He knew that for all her lack of experience, he could trust her as an employee—she would abide by the rules of both the Romanian and British authorities when it came to the Triwizard Tournament.
A/N: love? hate? please review and let me know?!
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