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Chapter 1 : Escaping the Friendzone
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I stared at myself in the mirror, trying to figure out what was wrong with me. At seventeen years old, I was fairly pretty, I determined with as much humility as I could keep a grasp on, which wasn’t much. Light blond hair cascaded down my back, bright blue eyes beamed at me in my reflection, and rosy, pink cheeks completed the look, though being part veela helped a little bit. All in all, I was the spitting image of my mum, Fleur Weasley nee Delacour.
Never once had I thought I was ugly, nor did other people. I had had a few short term boyfriends over the years, all of which I broke up with, not the other way around, just for the record. Unfortunately, none of them were what I wanted, or more specifically who, as I already knew exactly who was perfect for me. My only problem; he didn’t love me back and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why.
I determined that it wasn’t my looks, so it must be me; my personality. I was far from perfect, as I was slightly vain and self-centered and had a raging temper. I sighed outwardly. It made sense that someone like Teddy Lupin wasn’t interested.
Yes, I loved Teddy. He was my best friend since childhood and secret crush. He had bright brown eyes and striking blue hair that looked brilliant on him. Well, at least, that’s how he looked most of the time. Teddy was a metamorphmagus from his mother’s side and part werewolf from his father’s side. Because of these traits, he could change his appearance at will and liked his meat slightly on the rare side.
Despite these unusual characteristics, Teddy was all man. He had the whole package; looks, charm, brains, and a body that I had despicable dreams about. (Shh… don’t tell my father.)
Strangely enough, though Teddy was like Mary Poppins – practically perfect in every way –, he didn’t date much. Sure, he had a few girlfriends and, yeah, every time he got one my heart plummeted into my stomach, but he would dump them within a few weeks, making my heart feel like it would rocket out of my chest and burst into a million pieces, each one for him and only him.
Coincidentally, that’s what it felt like at this very moment; today was my first day of my last year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
I grabbed my toiletries from the bathroom, not wanting to risk them breaking if I summoned them, and shoved them into my trunk between a few articles of clothing for protection. Finally done packing, I fell backwards onto my bed and looked about the room, checking for anything I missed.
My friends were all visiting my house for the weekend so that we could go to school together. They were my dorm mates and we had become close during our six years at Hogwarts.
Sadie Cooper, Grace Wallace, Lindsey King, and Emily Moore now sat in a circle on my floor while I was on my stomach lying on my bed, talking to them.
“So, do you think you’re finally going to tell Ted how you feel, Vic?” asked Sadie. She was definitely my sweet supportive friend. She was optimistic and peppy and wanted nothing but happiness and love for everyone. She was a mix of a hippy and Labrador puppy with long, sandy hair and a constant smile.
I blushed pink and hid my face behind a mass of golden hair.
“I… erm… No. He’s my friend. If I told him how I feel, then he would reject me and it would be awkward between us.”
“Oh, come on, Vic. Don’t be dense. Blake says that Lupin is crazy about you and he would know. They’ve been best friends since before Hogwarts,” said Emily. She was definitely blunt. Em was the tell-it-like-it-is girl. She always told me the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Sometimes she was rude, but I liked her openness and honesty, especially when she talked to new people, who didn’t understand her frank way of talking. She was a riot. Her boyfriend Blake Parker, Teddy’s best friend, agreed with me completely on that.
“I agree,” said Grace. Quiet and reserved, Grace didn’t speak her opinion, or any words for that matter, very often. So when she openly inputted what she thought, I was slightly taken aback, but also pleased. Grace, though shy, had important things to say when she opened her mouth, so I always made sure to listen to what she said.
“You guys, I don’t think that’s a good idea. I love Teddy, but I don’t want to lose him. I’m comfortable where we are in our relationship.”
“Bloody hell, Vic. It’s not a relationship. Merlin’s pants, if you don’t make a move, I will. Teddy’s yummy,” Lindsey told me. Lindsey was… different. Lindsey was the only friend that I had major disagreements with on a daily basis. To put it nicely, she was boy crazy. To put it truthfully, she was sleazy and easy and I had no doubt that she would follow through with that plan, even if she said it jokingly. The only reason she ended up hanging out with us was because she would be alone in our dorm if we didn’t include her and we weren’t rude.
“Not funny, Linds. Can’t you keep it in your pants for five seconds?” asked Emily, who looked disgusted. Lindsey laughed it off, though her eyes flashed with anger. Em was the other person who fought with Lindsey constantly. My other two mates were just too nice to contradict her.
“What is she keeping in her pants?” asked my little sister, Dominique, as she walked past my room from the bathroom. She was going into her third year at Hogwarts and was still packing her belongings. I glared at Emily for a minute before answering Dom.
“Nothing, Dom. I’ll tell you about it later,” I told her authoritatively with a faint blush on my cheeks.
“But, I want to know now,” she whined. When I shook my head, she pouted and went to her room. After my sister left, we continued where we left off.
“I was kidding, Em. I was just taking the mickey out of our resident prude, Victoire Weasley.”
“Be nice, Lindsey. Let’s just be reasonable,” said Sadie, trying to keep the peace.
“Victoire! Vic!” called Teddy from the bottom of the stairs. I couldn’t halt the small smile that worked its way onto my face or the flutter in my stomach or, even, the accelerated beat of my heart. All of these feelings were familiar to me since my fifth year, when I decided Teddy was the bloke for me, and in the two years since they started, they wouldn’t stop.
“Oh, lover boy’s here,” teased Emily. The other girls laughed at my bright red face.
“Oh shut it,” I mumbled, fixing my hair and doing one last check in the mirror.
“I’m coming! I’m coming!” I shouted back down to Ted. After shutting my trunk, I levitated it off my bed and down the stairs with my friends following me.
Waiting at the bottom of the stairs were Teddy with Blake and his other friend, Nick Turner, Mum, and scarred Dad. Dom and my twelve year old brother, Louis, followed suit right after me.
Teddy walked over to me and put his arm around my shoulders. I couldn’t stop the sigh that escaped me, but I hoped he didn’t notice. He didn’t appear to. I took it one step forward and comfortably laid my head on his broad shoulder, nuzzling closer.
His friends left after a few minutes. Blake only came to say goodbye to Em and Nick only wanted to hit on Lindsey. He really needed to take a hint. Although he was nice boy, he had the brain of a typical teenage bloke, and Lindsey was on his radar.
“Come on, Victoire. You are going to be late for meeting zee rest of zee family,” said Mum impatiently, tapping her foot. Her accent, now mostly gone from living in England, was slipping into her voice during her annoyance.
We had a few hours before the train leaves and we were planning to meet up with Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny. It would be Albus’s first year of Hogwarts and we were having a get together to send them off as we did with the rest of the family.
We were going to have Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione come over because Rosy was going to Hogwarts for the first time, but Uncle Ron had a driving test to pass, so we would see them at King’s Cross.
“Is everybody ready?” asked Dad. We all nodded and grabbed hands to side-along apparate to Uncle Harry’s house in Godric’s Hollow.
I ruffled my electric blue hair in the bathroom mirror of my flat, trying to make it look effortlessly sexy, even though I spent about forty-five minutes on it.
It wasn’t until the summer before fourth year that I cared about my hair. At first, I rocked the “Uncle Harry”. It was shaggy and disheveled, sticking out in random places, never staying still. I was proud of it, though, because Harry, my godfather, had the same style and I wanted to be just like him; I still do. There was only one difference; my hair was blue. My favorite color since I was a little kid felt right on my head and even now, I would never change it.
Why did you start to care about your hair, you ask. Well, it was Vic. That summer, something about us changed, and though I can’t put my finger on what it was, even now, it happened.
Maybe it was that she started wearing bikinis or maybe it was because she spent most nights in my room, and on my bed, talking to me. Hey, I’m a teenage bloke and certain thoughts like that stick out. Or, maybe, those feelings were always there, buried down deep, waiting to become known to me.
The summer before fourth year, she got a boyfriend and I was jealous. At first, I was in denial. I blamed my envious feelings on the fact that she had less time for me and a friend would think that, so it made sense in my mind.
What didn’t make sense were my own thoughts. Not only did I want to pummel her boyfriend, whose name I don’t remember, to death, but I had dreams, both during the day and night, about kissing Vic, holding her, just being with her. They assaulted my mind and wouldn’t stop as much as I wanted them to.
After about three weeks, she broke up with him and I was sure that the thoughts would go away, but they only got more intense. And, soon after, I welcomed them. I couldn’t deny the simple fact that I had a crush on my best friend and she didn’t think the same about me.
I tried dating; hoping that my feelings about Vic would go away, but they didn’t.
During the years, my feelings only got deeper. In the middle of my fifth year, I realized I loved her. I loved the way she laid her head my shoulder when we talked, the way she unconsciously twirled her hair when she focused on something, the way she smiled at me. I loved everything about her, but couldn’t be more than friends.
When I was done with my hair, I sat down on the couch with my roommates, Nick Turner and Blake Parker.
“So, are you excited about seeing—,” Nick paused and pretended to swoon. “—Victoire?” Blake, who was sitting on the other side of him, snorted.
“Shut it, mates,” I grumbled.
“I can just hear it now. ‘Oh, Vic, you look so beautiful today. Oh, Vic, you’re amazing. Oh, Vic, I’m so whipped,” mocked Blake.
“Okay, firstly, I don’t say that and secondly, I seem to recall that you would get tongue-tied whenever Em came around, so you have no room to talk,” I countered. Blake still had a cocky grin on his face, although I imagine if his skin wasn’t dark mocha, he would have red on the tips of his ears.
“Don’t you remember, Parker? She would come up to you and say ‘Hi’ and all you could say was ‘Erm…’,” I continued. He glared at me. “Don’t mess with me,” I told him as Nick laughed his arse off.
“At least I’m not in the friend-zone, Lupin,” he snapped back, obviously a little more peeved than I thought.
“Okay, okay. I’m sorry. That was out of line. I just hate being ‘just friends’, you know?” My friends nodded sympathetically, but then Nick, being his usual vulgar self, decided that I should drop Vic.
“Why don’t you just forget about Vic, mate? Lindsey is into you and she’s smokin’,” he suggested with a wiggle of his eyebrows and a very suggestive hip movement.
“Ugh, don’t make me puke. She’s so disgusting. I don’t know where she’s been. Lindsey King is a walking STD and everybody but Vic knows it. She’s too nice to notice and her friends are to kind to say anything.”
“I’d go for it,” said Nick, licking his lips like an animal.
“That’s because you are like an unfixed dog,” I told him with a snicker. Blake muffled a laugh, as well. Nick wasn’t embarrassed in the least. He had a wicked sense of humor and was just an all-around fun-loving bloke. He was a bit of a womanizer, but never cheated or gave any girl false expectations. Nick liked to party and usually didn’t come home until two or three in the morning, but that didn’t make him a bad guy; just a noisy roommate. He was a good friend when it counted and that’s all I needed from him.
Blake, on the other-hand, was a strict no-nonsense kind of guy. It’s not that he didn’t joke around, but he followed rules and never took jokes too far. He didn’t appreciate being picked on and sometimes I’d forget that and go overboard. He was a responsible bloke and bloody brilliant. As Head Boy last year, he kept me out of a lot of trouble and now that he was out of school, he was hired at the ministry with a stable job.
Together, they kept my years interesting. They were my best friends along with Vic.
All three of us finally got our things together and apparated to Vic’s house.
When we arrived, I knocked on the door and exchanged pleasantries with Aunt Fleur and Uncle Bill. I called then ‘aunt’ and ‘uncle’, but they were more like parents. When I wasn’t at home with my Nan, Andromeda, I was at their house with Vic.
“Victoire! Vic!” I yelled to her upstairs. I heard some footsteps then she answered.
“I’m coming! I’m coming!” I knew that a goofy smile appeared on my face. I couldn’t help myself. I looked around to make sure no one saw, but I could see my friends amused faces. They knew how I acted around her.
She walked down the stairs with her friends and Lindsey winked at me seductively and licked her lips. I found it disgusting. I gave Nick a knowing look, but he was too busy checking her out. I boldly wrapped my arm around Vic’s shoulders to show Lindsey that I wasn’t interested. Vic sighed daintily and laid her head on my shoulder.
Blake hugged his girlfriend, Emily Moore, before kissing her and apparating away. He had to work today, but had to say goodbye before she went to Hogwarts for the last time. Despite a one year difference, and Em still being in school, it didn’t affect their relationship. In fact, they seemed to be stronger than any other couple I’d seen at this age.
Nick also left after hitting on Lindsey for a minute. Finally realizing she wasn’t interested, he apparated to a party he was invited to.
“Come on, Victoire. You are going to be late for meeting zee rest of zee family,” said Aunt Fleur, her French heritage slipping out in her irritation. Aunt Fleur was forever on time and tardiness wasn’t just frowned upon; it was law.
“Is everybody ready?” asked Uncle Bill. Along with several other people, I nodded my head and murmured yes before we took hands and apparated to Uncle Harry’s.
The Potter family lived in Uncle Harry’s parent’s neighborhood called Godric’s Hollow. They lived in a slate blue house about a block away from the ruins of James and Lily Potter’s house. We had to apparate discreetly so that muggles wouldn’t see us and then we knocked on the door.
Aunt Ginny opened it up and welcomed us inside with multiple hugs and hellos.
As soon as I stepped inside the house I was bombarded by three children. The tiny redhead, Lily, ran at me and wrapped her freckled arms around my waist. James with his hazel eyes and jet black hair started to push and shove Lily out of the way to get my attention. Albus wasn’t as forward. The little Uncle Harry clone jogged to me, but hung back behind his siblings, waiting his turn.
“Okay, okay. Guys! Calm down. One at a time,” I ordered as James and Lily fought for my attention. After giving each other dirty looks and one last punch to James’s shoulder, the two stopped fighting.
“Thank you, but now, it’s Albus’ turn. After all, he was the one who waited patiently.” I walked over and hugged and greeted my almost little brother.
“Hi, Teddy,” he said quietly.
“Hey, Al. You excited for Hogwarts?” Al nodded hesitantly. I wanted to ask him what was wrong, but if I knew one thing about him, it was that he would tell me when he was ready. While I talked to him, I saw Vic out of the corner of my eye. She had a mischievous look in her eyes and she smuggled candy to James and Lily, telling them to share with Al. Louis ran upstairs and Dom grabbed some more treats from Vic before following her little brother.
When I made my way back to the two combative siblings, I hugged them and greeted them as they rambled on about their summer adventures.
Finally, Al, James, Lils, Dom and Louis ran to James’ room upstairs to stuff the candy in their mouths before we had to leave and the adults went out in the backyard to talk about whatever it is adults talk about. Being of age still didn’t quality me as an adult. I wasn’t ready to grow up.
At last, I had some time to sit down and relax. I found Vic sitting on one of the couches in the living room. Feeling slightly courageous, I sat down next to her and scooted over so that the sides of our legs were touching. I pulled the yawn move and put my arm around her shoulders before talking to her.
“So, it’s your last year of Hogwarts. How do you feel about that, Vic? Glad that school is finally done?” She sighed and shook her head.
“Though I hate all of my homework, Hogwarts is my second home. I’m sad to leave it.” I nodded. I experience the same emotions last year.
“I felt the same way. Hogwarts is where we spent most of our days and our best moments. Not going back this year feels strange and foreign to me,” I told her. She smiled at me.
“Don’t worry, Ted. I’ll bring you back souvenirs,” she assured me and touched my knee. It felt like electricity. I put on a mask of complete seriousness.
“I’m holding you to that. If you don’t there will be serious consequences. I don’t mess around when it comes to Hogwarts souvenirs.” She gasped in mock fright.
“Consequences? That sounds scary. I’d better give you something good.” This led me to thinking about all the good things she could give me. And trust me; it was stuff that made even me blush. I needed to snap out of it.
“I’ll be right back, Vic. I need to use the loo,” I said, finding that it wasn’t a lie. I reluctantly pulled my arm from around her, ruffled her hair, and ran to the bathroom to clear my head with Vic shouting obscene names at me from the couch while chuckling.
When we entered Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny’s house, my three cousins ran to Teddy like nifflers to metal. I smiled goofily at him. He was great with them; not too stern, but he didn’t let them get away with anything either. James, Al, and Lily loved him and he loved them, too. This fact just made him even more perfect in my eyes.
I hugged my aunt and uncle, and then snuck some candy to my cousins and siblings, after hugging them, while the parents weren’t looking. I, then, proceeded to plop down on their fluffy brown couch and put my feet up on the oak coffee table. I watched Teddy interact with the three kids until they ran up to their rooms to scarf down the candy that I’d given them. When they all left, he sat right next to me, his warm leg right next to mine and put his arm over my shoulders with a large yawn.
“So, it’s your last year of Hogwarts. How do you feel about that, Vic? Glad that school is finally done?” he asked me out of the blue. I sighed sadly and shook my head.
“Though I hate all of my homework, Hogwarts is my second home. I’m sad to leave it.” Teddy nodded in understanding, as he had graduated last year.
“I felt the same way. Hogwarts is where we spent most of our days and our best moments. Not going back this year feels strange and foreign to me,” he stated, saying my thoughts about Hogwarts ending. It felt weird to know that I was going to leave it behind. Also, though I didn’t say so, I was going to miss Ted being there with me. Hogwarts wasn’t nearly as homey without him.
“Don’t worry, Ted,” I said, patting him on the knee, trying to ignore the butterflies and the zap to my hand. “I’ll bring you back souvenirs,” I told him jokingly. He put on a game face.
“I’m holding you to that. If you don’t there will be serious consequences. I don’t mess around when it comes to Hogwarts souvenirs.” I played along and gasped, seemingly frightened.
“Consequences? That sounds scary. I’d better give you something good.” A blush crept along Teddy’s face and I realized how sexual that sounded. Before I could explain, he said he needed to go to the bathroom. He jumped up from the couch, messed up my hair and left.
I yelled at him jokingly to keep up appearances, but I was beyond embarrassed.
After he was out of view and hearing range, I smacked my forehead.
“Stupid!” I said to myself. I felt equal parts embarrassed and worried. What if Teddy took it the wrong way?
Trying to forget my awkward blunder, I changed seats to where Em, Grace, and Sadie lounged in the kitchen around the oak table. I took the spot right between Grace and Sadie. My friends had a way of making me forget about everything else and just have fun.
“… and then she said, ‘That’s not a pygmy puff, that’s cotton candy!’” spluttered Sadie in between bouts of laughter. Grace was doubled over beside me, guffawing so much that you couldn’t hear her.
“Oh, hey, Vic,” Emily said, and then she paused to laugh, but then calmed herself. “How was your conversation with lover boy?” They all snickered.
“Bloody hell. Don’t remind me,” I groaned. My friends looked at me questioningly and I told them of my embarrassing accidental innuendo.
After my mates finished laughing their arses off, they proceeded to show their support and take the mickey out of me.
“Oh, Vic, if I say I’ll punish you, will you give me something good?” asked Sadie as she burst into hysterical giggles. Grace was trying her hardest to hide her laughter, but failed and Emily was rolling on the linoleum floor.
“Shut it, all of you. Thanks for the support,” I said sarcastically.
“No, thank you for the good stuff,” said Em, winking at me mock-seductively. I stuck my tongue out at her and stuck my bare foot in her face as she was lying on the floor.
“Ew! Get your smelly feet away from me. They’re worse than dragon dung!” I just put my other foot near her face and she squirmed and squealed on the floor, trying to escape me. I laughed loudly, but then relented and sat criss-cross on her chair.
As I sat there, I realized that Teddy had been in the bathroom for at least fifteen minutes. Either he was taking a ginormous dump, or he wasn’t feeling good. Worried that it might be the second option, I excused myself while enduring endless teasing and went to the bathroom.
Right as I was going to knock on the door, I heard a thump and a muffled groan. I swung open the door to see if Teddy was okay.
Instead of seeing Teddy throwing up, or something, like I expected, I saw Teddy backed against the bathroom wall snogging Lindsey like there was no tomorrow. They broke apart when they heard me enter.
“It’s not what it looks like, Vic,” Teddy explained.
“Of course it is,” purred Lindsey. “We’re together now, Vic, isn’t that great? Aren’t you happy for your friends?” Lindsey smirked with contempt at my devastated expression.
I was torn between blinding rage and crushing heartbreak. Tears threatened to roll down my cheeks, but from anger or despair, I didn’t know. All at once I wanted to punch Lindsey in her smug face and smack Teddy across his cheek. Instead of doing any of that, I walked out without saying a word.
With my bladder about to explode, I ran to the bathroom. Well, that was only partly why I went to the bathroom. The other reason was that I couldn’t sit next to Vic after she said that. Too many thoughts about her “giving me something good” assaulted my all too welcoming mind. If I sat next to her for any longer, she would be able to see how I felt about her, if you know what I mean.
When I finished washing my hands I stood in the bathroom looking in the mirror and I splashed cold water on my face. Although, I really needed more than a splash of water; I needed a full on cold shower.
After I was done with my business, I was about get back to the comfy couch and sit by Vic, only to be stopped by a knock on the door. I opened up to see Lindsey.
“Oh, um… are you done?” she asked. I nodded and tried to get out of the doorway, but we both kept moving to the same sides and blocking each other. Finally, Lindsey just shoved her way into the bathroom. I stepped out of the bathroom when she pulled me back in and kissed me.
I broke away and took a few steps away from her, which was quite difficult in the small bathroom.
“Look, Lindsey, I don’t feel that way about you. I’m sorry, but I can’t do that,” I told her, knowing that she didn’t feel anything for me either besides a hormonal infatuation.
“We could have a lot of fun together,” she said in a voice that she must have thought was sexy and persuasive, but it just made me want to hurl. Frankly, she repulsed me. Sure, she was hot, but she had no morals and would jump any warm blooded male. I wanted to escape.
“No, Lindsey, I don’t want—,” She stopped me by snogging me, pushing me against the way with a thunk. I groaned as the back of the head met the hard wall. Her hands travelled downwards; too far down for my comfort. I was about to push her away when the door swung open and Vic stepped in. Her face was mortified and I could see her trying to hold in tears.
“It’s not what it looks like, Vic,” I tried to tell her, but she just looked betrayed. Lindsey didn’t help one bit.
“Of course it is,” cooed Lindsey in a fake happy tone. “We’re together now, Vic, isn’t that great? Aren’t you happy for your friends?”
Victoire just whirled around and stormed down the hall.
Lindsey tried to continue with me, but I pushed her roughly away and followed Vic, calling her name.
“Vic! Vic, please, just attempt to hear me out!” She ignored me and kept walking. She whizzed past her friends who immediately stopped whatever they were doing and caught up with her as she barricaded herself in Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny’s room with Grace, Sadie, and Emily as her bodyguards.
I got to the door and the three girls crossed their arms over their chests and glared at me. At that moment I half admired them, and half hated them. They protected her, no questions asked, and normally that was great, but right now, I needed them to ask questions.
“Can you let me in to see Vic?” I asked them politely. All three shook their heads simultaneously.
“Please. It isn’t what she thinks and I need to tell her that. I have to explain. Please, you guys,” I pleaded with them. They didn’t move a muscle.
“Bloody hell! Let me in, dammit! She’s got to know that I didn’t kiss Lindsey! I don’t even like Lindsey!” Grace surprised me by stepping forward.
“I don’t care what you did or didn’t do, Ted. She doesn’t want to talk to you or even see you. It’s our duty as her friend to grant her this. Just let it go and give Vic a chance to cool down. Plus, you need to cool down, too. You’re acting like an arse.” I stood there with an open mouth before nodding and sitting on the couch in the living room, sulking.
Since I couldn’t talk to Vic now, I would have to wait until we left. While waiting for then, I was going to sit and watch the door, so that Vic couldn’t avoid me. I was going to make her see that I don’t even like Lindsey a little bit.
Only one thing confused me; why did she care so much if we were just friends?
I stowed away in the master bathroom in my aunt and uncle’s room, while they chatted with my parents. I didn’t wanting to face Teddy. He had called after me as I ran away, but I ignored him. When he got a girlfriend I was hurt, but this was worse because I considered Lindsey somewhat my friend. He preferred that sleazy slag over me. What was wrong with me?
I broke down in tears and leaned on the sink in front of me. I gazed at my tear-stained face, mascara smudged and pained looking. Why did I have to love my best friend; my best friend who just wanted to be best friends?
“Vic! Vic, please, just attempt to hear me out!” I had heard him plead with me when I was storming away, but I still ignored him. I muffled a sob. How stupid could I get? I pushed away Teddy. Even if he doesn’t love me, he’s still my best friend. I’m not even supposed to be this upset about the whole situation. I looked like a fool.
I heard muffled talking outside the door, but then I could hear Ted yell loud and clear.
“Bloody hell! Let me in, dammit! She’s got to know that I didn’t kiss Lindsey! I don’t even like Lindsey!”
My heart fluttered at this, but my brain told me it wasn’t true. Why would he have snogged her like that if he didn’t have feelings for her? Why would he ever love me?
“I don’t care what you did or didn’t do, Ted. She doesn’t want to talk to you or even see you. It’s our duty as her friend to grant her this. Just let it go and give Vic a chance to cool down. Plus, you need to cool down, too. You’re acting like an arse,” I heard Grace say coolly. I was impressed. Grace normally stayed silent in situations like this. I felt pride and admiration for my loyal friend.
Teddy must have listened to her because I didn’t hear anymore protests or curses.
After taking a moment to compose myself and fix my make-up, I put on a smile that I hoped didn’t look fake and slammed the bedroom door open to meet with Teddy.
I passed by my friends on the way out and gave them a reassuring smile that they didn’t buy at all, but let slide.
Strutting up to Ted before I lost my nerve, I blurted out a lame excuse for my wonky behavior.
“I don’t care about you and Lindsey. I mean, I do care; I’m happy about it, even thrilled. You could even say I’m tickled. Congratulations, Ted,” I told him with my fake grin plastered on my face.
Before I could get in another word and before Teddy could process my lie, my parents and Aunt Ginny and Uncle Harry came back from enjoying the sunshine.
“Okay, kids,” said Ginny loudly enough for her children to hear upstairs. “It’s time to take off for King’s Cross.”
A rumble of tiny feet running down the stairs filled my ears and within seconds five very giddy and sugar-filled children were standing in the living room. They all started loudly talking at once.
Dom was trying to figure out what Emily meant about Lindsey earlier and Louis was searching in my bag for more candy, though he wouldn’t find it. I knew better than to leave it out for him to steal.
James and Al were bickering about what house Al would be put in once he arrived at Hogwarts and James was trying to scare him with creepy and completely false tales of Hogwarts. Lils was complaining that she couldn’t go, too.
“But they get to go, Dad. Why can’t I? I want to go to Hogwarts. Pleeeeeaaaaase?” she whined. Harry just smiled amusedly at her and ruffled her hair.
“You can’t go until you’re eleven, Lils, you know that. You’ll be leaving next year before you know it, and trust me; it’s not all fun and games. School is hard work, too,” he told her, pulling the responsible parent role on her.
“Dad,” Lily said with a disbelieving look on her face. “I’m not going to get attacked every year, like you did. I’m going to be very good and follow the rules.”
Now it was Uncle Harry’s turn to look unconvinced.
“As I seem to recall,” he said, rubbing his chin. “Wasn’t it you who turned your brothers’ hair pink with hair dye while they slept?” Lily looked guilty and quickly changed the subject to the amusement of her father, and rambled on about what a lovely dad he was.
“Okay, okay, everyone. We need to apparate soon if we’re going to get to the platform on time,” said Dad authoritatively. “Kids, grab an adult’s hand and then, off we’ll go.”
The three cousins and my siblings fought over Teddy’s hand, but being fair, he held none of theirs. I sent a wistful glance at him before apparating to King’s Cross.
Once we arrived, I kept close to my parents so that Teddy couldn’t talk to me. I stayed with them long enough to meet up with Aunt Hermione and Uncle Ron with Hugo and Rose tagging along behind them.
With some quick hugs to everybody and a little bit of candy to Hu and Rosy, I told everybody that I wanted a good seat on the train and I bolted away from the group, or more correctly, away from Teddy.
After making sure I was in the clear, I sat on a bench by an entrance to the train and thought about Ted and Lindsey. What would he see in her? Sure, she had some redeeming qualities, like… erm… well, I’d think of those later. None came to mind at that moment.
I was contemplating this when someone sat on the backside of the bench and bumped into me. The person sighed loudly and I determined that the person was a bloke. Then, for some odd reason, he bumped me in the back of the head.
“Excuse me, sir,” I said rather rudely. “Can you not hit me in the head? That’s very rude and—“. It was Teddy who was sitting behind me.
“Oh, it’s just you,” I said, sounding harsher than I meant to.
“Yep, it’s just me. Don’t be so thrilled,” he snapped back sarcastically.
“I didn’t mean it like that, Ted, but I’m not the one who was snogging Lindsey King,” I countered. Unfortunately and very stupidly, I backed myself into a corner with that comment.
“Why do you care, Vic?”
“I… I… I don’t… I don’t care,” I spluttered. Teddy looked skeptical.
“Really, Vic? Because you sound and act like you’re concerned. You wouldn’t be angry with me if you didn’t care. Is it because she’s your friend and that’s awkward? Because it’s not like I like her or anything—,” I cut him off.
“You are so dense, Teddy! Merlin’s pants! Can’t you see that I love you? That I’ve loved you for years now and that when you’re with her, or any girl for that matter, it kills me inside? Lindsey being my so-called ‘friend’ just set me over the edge. You are just such an idiot, Ted,” I ranted loudly... and Ted just sat there… looking like a fish with his mouth opening and closing.
“Well, don’t just sit there. Say something. Anything,” I ordered, starting to regret my outburst. He was going to run away in fear and would never talk to me again. I just made our whole friendship awkward. Why did I say all that?
As I sat on the couch Vic, burst out of the room with a fake and kind of manic-looking smile on her face. She walked right up to me and started ranting before I had a chance to explain.
“I don’t care about you and Lindsey. I mean, I do; I’m happy about it, even thrilled. You could even say I’m tickled. Congratulations, Ted,” she said. I wanted to tell her about everything, but then my aunts and uncles came back inside. I cursed them in my head.
“Okay, kids, it’s time to take off for King’s Cross,” yelled Ginny. All the children sprinted down the stairs at top speed. I was surprised they didn’t fall.
Little Dom came down and tugged on Vic’s shirt and started asking her about pants. Louis was rummaging through her bag trying to find more sweets, but Vic was too clever for him.
James and Al were arguing about what house Al was going to be in. James kept trying to scare him with scary tales and telling Al that he would be in Slytherin. That must have been what was wrong with him earlier.
Lil was complaining, again, about not being able to go to Hogwarts. She did that every year since she could talk. Hogwarts was her ultimate dream. Next year, she was going to go bonkers, I was sure of it.
“Okay, okay, everyone. We need to apparate soon if we’re going to get to the platform on time,” said Uncle Bill announced. “Kids, grab an adult’s hand and then, off we’ll go.”
All the kids fought for my hand, but I sent them all back to others. I only had two hands and I didn’t play favorites.
We popped in at King’s Cross and went on our way. I tried to talk to Vic, but she kept close to her mum and dad as if they were a barrier to keep me away. Personally, I would have talked to her with them there, but if she didn’t want me around, I wouldn’t be around.
She disappeared after greeting Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione and their little munchkins, Rose and Hugo. I made an excuse about having to go to the bathroom and then left in search of Vic.
I searched for a while before giving up and figuring that if she didn’t want to see me, then I would respect that. I sat down on a bench, bumping into the person behind me. I was too stressed out to mumbled an apology.
I didn’t expect that when I ran my hand through my hair that I would hit something or in this case someone.
“Excuse me, sir,” said a snotty voice. “Can you not hit me in the head? That’s very rude and—“. I found myself face to face with Vic. Her anger fell away to reveal surprise and… hurt?
“Oh, it’s just you,” she said bitterly. This made me feel angry and pained. She wasn’t happy to see me. She hated me now.
“Yep, it’s just me,” I said and then added sarcastically, “Don’t be so thrilled.” Vic looked at me guiltily.
“I didn’t mean it like that, Ted,” she apologized, “But I’m not the one who was snogging Lindsey King,” she snapped at me.
“Why do you care, Vic?” I asked cockily. She flushed bright red and started stammering.
“I… I… I don’t… I don’t care.” I raised one eyebrow.
“Really, Vic? Because you sound and act like you’re concerned. You wouldn’t be angry with me if you didn’t care,” I reasoned, but then started to ramble. “Is it because she’s your friend and that’s awkward? Because it’s not like I like her or anything—,” She interrupted me, looking extremely annoyed.
“You are so dense, Teddy! Merlin’s pants! Can’t you see that I love you? That I’ve loved you for years now and that when you’re with her, or any girl for that matter, it kills me inside? Lindsey being my friend just set me over the edge. You are just such an idiot, Ted,” she said in a huff.
Normally, I would be insulted for someone questioning my intelligence, but I was just so stunned. I wanted to say something, but I couldn’t get the words out, so I just opened and closed my mouth like the idiot she said I was.
“Well, don’t just sit there. Say something. Anything,” she commanded me. Her wish is my command.
“I love you, too,” I said, more calmly than I felt. I wanted to jump for joy or whirl her around in a bone-crushing hug or snog her senseless. Oh, I liked the third option. Vic didn’t appear to hear me.
“I understand if you don’t feel that way about me, Ted, but I just had to let you know. I couldn’t go without telling you; without knowing what would happen. It just—,”
“I said I love you, Vic.” She stopped talking.
“Oh, right…,” she said nonchalantly, almost as if she didn’t comprehend what I said. Then a look of amazement dawned on her face.
“Wait, you what? You love me?”
“’Course, Vic. I haven’t been able to get you out of my head since the summer before fourth year.” Instead of replying, Vic grabbed my shirt collar and pulled me towards her. Her lips crashed down on mine and I couldn’t help but smile while we snogged.
“Ah! What are you doing with Victoire, Ted? That’s so gross!” yelled James, my godfather’s son. He was like a little brother to me. Him, Al, and Lily were the siblings I never had, which unfortunately meant I knew he was going to rat me out to the family.
“I was just giving her mouth to mouth, James. She looked a bit peaky,” I teased. James just looked disgusted.
“You two were snogging,” he accused.
“Yeah, and your point, Jamesy?” asked Vic. He glared at her when she called him “Jamesy”.
“I’m telling.” He dashed through the train station to find whoever it was he was going to tell. I didn’t really care. I was with Vic.
“So… do we continue or…?” I trailed off. Vic giggled.
“I think we should find our family.”
We found our whole family standing at the entrance of King’s Cross. Vic let go of my hand to hug her mum and dad and younger siblings while I greeted Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny.
“So,” Harry started when I walked up to him. “You snogged Victoire?” I flushed slightly.
“James?” I asked, though I already knew the answer. Aunt Ginny nodded.
“He just had to tell us,” Aunt Ginny said, rolling her eyes.
I was a little embarrassed, but mostly, I was happy. All I could focus on was that I was in love with my best friend and my best friend was in love with me.
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