Disclaimer - Everything in the HP universe belongs to JK. Only Liv belongs to me.
Amazing chapter image by Bagginses. @ tda!
After a hectic week, dealing with both Scorpius and Rose, the latter ignoring all my calls and letters and finishing the piling manuscripts I had on my desk and getting them back to the editors, minutes before the deadline was due, I finally felt relaxed as I took a seat in the corner of the bookshop, curling up with a classic novel, expecting no interruptions but my life was never that easy. I swear Merlin liked to punish me.
“Liv? Are you here?” I groaned as the sickly sweet voice of Victoire filled the shop and I closed my eyes in frustration. Was I ever going to get a moments peace on my own?
“Yes, I’m here.” Victoire popped her head around the shelf, smiling as she spotted me in the chair. Quickly coming over, she gave me her customary air kisses before speaking.
“I need you to come with me, we need to get your bridesmaid dress fitted!” The excitement in her voice was evident and I was proud of myself for holding back another groan. I should have known this was coming and to be honest I did, I was just trying my best to forget about it in the hopes it would all go away. But alas, here Victoire was, about to lead me into hell.
“Oh yay! Let me grab my coat and we can go.” I hoped she mistook the sarcasm for excitement as I stood up and grabbed my coat and bag from the back of the shop. Letting Victoire lead me out of the shop, I locked up and we made the short walk to the wedding shop in silence, which I was delighted about. I think I would have turned around and ran if she had brought up something to do with the wedding, seeing as I had the perfect opportunity. Once I was in the shop, there was no going back and I knew I had to endure at least an hour’s worth of mindless wedding babble as I smiled and nodded in the right places.
“Melissa, she’s here!” An attractive brunette with deep blue eyes and an enviable figure came into view and I assumed that it was Melissa. Taking one look at me, she gasped and I didn’t know if it was a good thing or not.
“My, this girl is gorgeous. Why did you not pick her in the first place?” I guess it was a good thing as I listened to the woman, whose voice was tinged with a French accent. She came closer to me and pulled my hair out of its messy bun and gasped again. “You are perfect, my dear.”
“And that’s why I didn’t pick her, brides don’t like picking girls as bridesmaids if they’re going to be upstaged by them on the big day but I needed Liv in the end so here she is.” I turned to look at Victoire, who for the first time ever, looked insecure and unconfident. I shook my head and barked out a laugh.
“Are you serious? Believe me, I am nothing compared to you. Boys never look at me when you’re around so I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“You have everything I don’t; a great personality, an amazing sense of humour, you’re quick witted, can hold a conversation with an absolute stranger and you’re beautiful. I’m just a pretty face.” I turned away from Victoire and glanced at myself in the mirror, still not seeing what Victoire was concerned about.
“Well you must have something otherwise Teddy wouldn’t be marrying you. Many would say you’re a lucky girl.”
“Sometimes I feel he doesn’t want to marry me. When he’s with me, it’s like he’s not with me, if that makes sense? I just don’t know what it is.” I gulped and immediately looked at Melissa who was in the process of taking my measurements.
“Arms out to your sides, please.” I did as I was told as I tried to think of a reply to Victoire’s comment.
“I don’t know what to say, you always look so happy together. Maybe it’s just wedding nerves, you know? He does love you, I can tell.” It was true, Teddy did love Victoire, I could see it in his eyes but whether it was in the way that Victoire loved him was another story. He didn’t quite look at her like he used to look at me but maybe that’s just me being biased or it was wishful thinking on my part.
“You think so?”
I nodded and I felt my arms being pulled down. Looking to Melissa, she smiled and grabbed my hand, “Let’s get this dress on.” I shot Victoire a small smile before disappearing behind the curtain of the spacious changing room. A hand shot through and passed me the bridesmaid’s dress. “As quick as you can please, we haven’t got long left to alter it.” Hearing that comment, I worked out the date in my head and realised the wedding was only two weeks away, today being December 1st. I had not even noticed we were in December. Shimmying out of my clothes, I slid the dress over my head, knowing it was never going to get past my hips and looked at myself in the mirror as I zipped it up at the side. Usually when I think of bridesmaid’s dresses, I think of the muggle film ’27 Dresses’ and think of floral patterns, vomit inducing colours and any type of dress that makes you less attractive than the insecure brides but this was different. It was a long, flowing, purple dress in a Grecian style. It looked absolutely amazing and for the first time in a long time, I actually felt people would look at me and think ‘wow’. Maybe Victoire wasn’t so bad, after all? I drew back the curtain and stepped out towards the raised platform in the middle of the room, where Melissa and Victoire were waiting, going through what looked like charts of some sort.
“So, how do I look?” They both turned at the sound of y voice and the gasps were audible again. Melissa immediately stood up and led me onto the platform.
“Darling, you look absolutely beautiful.” I blushed slightly and looked to Victoire, who had yet to say anything.
“What do you think?”
Victoire smiled, her eyes watery and I was worried she was about to start crying in front of me. “You look gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous.”
I smiled in thanks and put my hair behind my ear, showing my uneasiness at being complimented.
“Thank you,” I stood around, patiently waiting for Melissa to finish the alterations, my eyes wandering to the shop window, watching people pass by. I was just about to turn away when I saw a flash of familiar red hair. Trying to get a closer look, I nearly fell off the platform as I lost my footing and was caught swiftly by Melissa.
“Careful there, we don’t want to rip the dress.” I nodded and apologised before looking back outside but the red head was gone and I couldn’t see her anywhere. Was it Rose? It was her hair but there were a lot of people with red hair these days so I wasn’t entirely sure but my gut was telling me that it was Rose, who should have been at work. Something was seriously going on with that girl and I was determined to get to the bottom of it, for poor Scorpius’ sake at least.
“Done, now I want you to carefully walk to the changing rooms and I’ll help you get it off, just in case something goes wrong.” I nodded and stepped off the platform with Victoire’s help and made my way to changing rooms, waiting for Melissa to help me take it off. She followed in a couple of seconds later and set to work taking the dress off.
“She’s scared,” It took me a while to figure what Melissa was talking about. “She thinks Teddy doesn’t love her. I’ve told her she’s being silly but she is still having doubts. I don’t know if she’ll go through with the wedding in the end.”
I hadn’t realised she was so insecure. And that was without the knowledge that me and Teddy used to be together. Was Teddy really being that aloof with Victoire? If he was, it wasn’t fair to string her along. As much as I knew that the world wanted them to get married and that it was the main reason for me breaking up with Teddy, he couldn’t marry her if he didn’t love her. It wouldn’t be fair to her, or him in the long run.
“I didn’t realise she was feeling like that. She always looks so happy.”
“It’s all an act. She thinks Teddy has feelings for someone else but she doesn’t know who. It’s all rubbish but she’s adamant that there is a reason that Teddy is being so off with her.” I nodded and put my arms up so Melissa could slip the dress over my head and then began to get dressed into my other clothes. “I’ll leave you to it.” I nodded and I slipped my jumper on and started to tug on my leggings. The picture on their wedding invitation told a completely different story to the one I was hearing today. Was Teddy being distant with Victoire because of me? Was I allowed to think like that? Or was that presumptuous and big headed of me to think that I could be the reason, even after 4 years, that Teddy didn’t love Victoire? I shook my head of all those thoughts and I walked out of the changing rooms, meeting Victoire near the till, where Melissa was writing something down.
“Thank you for today, Melissa.” Victoire air kissed Melissa and gave her a hug. “I shall see you on the morning of the wedding.”
Melissa nodded then turned to me, “It was lovely to meet you, Liv. I’ll see you on the wedding morning.”
“You too,” I left it at that and followed Victoire out of the shop. We walked back the bookshop, once again in silence. I was too busy looking around to see if Rose was still around that I didn’t notice the figure stood outside my shop.
“Teddy, why are you here?” Hearing Teddy’s name come out of Victoire’s mouth, I stopped looking around and looked at Teddy, who looked alarmed at the sight of me. Or was it the sight of Victoire?
“I was coming to see you. Your mother told me you were getting Liv’s dress fitted and I knew you would walk her back so I thought I would wait here.” Victoire smiled and I watched as Teddy let out a sigh of relief. He was lying through his teeth, I could tell instantly. Victoire hugged him and over her shoulder, Teddy looked at me, our eyes not moving. He was here to see me, that much I knew. But why?
It was something I didn’t want to know so I slipped past the couple and unlocked the shop door and turned to Teddy and Victoire. “Well I have to get back to work. Today was lovely, thank you Victoire. I have a question though, who will I be paired up with?”
“James. I figured you would be able to handle him so I swapped him and Albus. There would be no way Dom would last the whole ceremony without killing James.” I nodded and for once, I didn’t roll my eyes at the mention on James.
“Okay, I’m sure I will be able to handle him no problem.” Teddy’s face changed at this comment and I raised an eyebrow but other than that, I didn’t acknowledge his presence anymore, concentrating on Victoire. “Again, thank you for today. I’ll see you both nearer to the wedding then.” I waved them off before walking into the shop and collapsing in the chair.
Maybe now I would have some peace and quiet.
The peace and quiet lasted all but a few hours, where once again, James popped up in my flat, that annoying grin on his face. “So, did you hear the good news?”
I raised an eyebrow, knowing instantly what he was talking about. “Good news? I thought it was more tragic news than good but I guess it all depends on the person. It will be good news for Dominique, that’s for sure.” I put the book I was reading to the side of me, page down and sat up properly on the sofa, legs crossed in front of me. “Who broke the news to you?”
“Dominique, she practically jumped on me to tell me. It’s the closest she has ever been to me…it was disturbing. I’m glad I’m not walking her up the aisle, she might try and touch me again.”
I rolled my eyes at his dramatics. That was a Weasley trait, Harry was not dramatic in slightest, even after everything he had been through during his younger years. “Believe me, she wouldn’t want to touch you, she hates you. We all know this.” I shifted on the sofa before continuing. “Is that all you came here for?”
He shook his head. “No, I figured we could practise.”
“The dance we have to do once the bride and groom have danced a little to their song. Have you ever been to a wedding before?”
I thought about for a minute before shaking my head. “No, actually, I haven’t. This will the first time. And it’s to my ex’s. What a great introduction to the wedding scene.”
James grabbed my hand and pulled me up into the middle of the room. His arm went around my waist and pulled me flush against his body, his other grabbing my own. “Ever danced like this before?”
I nodded, not trusting my voice. I didn’t look at him and instead, I looked at the pictures on the opposite wall, as we swayed side to side. I hated being this close to him but I enjoyed it at the same time. The conflicting thoughts were giving me a headache and this, on top of everything was the last thing I needed. The sound of the rain outside was distracting me but it wasn’t enough. “We should stop, I think I know what I’m doing now.”
James nodded but didn’t let go of me. I made the mistake of looking him in the eyes and within seconds, his lips were on mine. Startled, I finally regained my composure and I was all ready to push him away yet something kept me there and I kissed him back, almost as passionately. I felt him move us around the room and when I felt my back hit the wall, I let out a soft moan. His lips trailed down my neck and I breathed in deeply.
This wasn’t meant to happen yet I was doing nothing to stop him. I felt drunk, the thoughts in my head making everything blurry and when James lifted me up and led me to the bedroom, I did nothing except stop him to close to the door behind us.
I was going to regret this completely but for the moment, I didn’t care one bit.