Chapter 1 : How to train your cousins
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The Oh-poor-me type, the pathetic type, The Aunty Audrey type.
In her defense, Victoire never had been taught how to deal with them.
She was the eldest cousin, apart from Teddy who wasn’t actually a cousin, and she was the one at family get-togethers that lead the expeditions in to the wood, to face a manner of wild creatures and things.
And it would be her who got the blame for Hugo hurting his knee.
Which is how the “Vic Rule” came about.
If you wanted to join in in a Weasley adventure, you’d have to be brave when you hurt yourself.
Which is why Hugo had to man up when he’d tripped and started bawling his eyes out.
Lily of course had then joined in, being four and far too little for the roaming of a ten year olds standard.
Victoire had little sympathy, and her exact words were: “It’s only a little cut, now do you want to go banshee hunting with the rest of us or not?”
Rose, just six, wiped her brother’s tears and clutched his tiny hand in her’s, setting off again in to the forest, following Teddy and Victoire’s lead.
It was only a matter of time, before the next person tripped over as they all sprinted through the woods. Teddy, Fred and Victoire were the fastest runners of the lot, speeding across the carpet of pine needles and jumping over the occasional thick tree root.
Dominique, James and Albus came next, racing as fast as they could, James slightly ahead.
Rose with Hugo on her back came after that, little Lily sobbing as she tried to catch up.
Louis trailed behind last, and with a fleeting defeated glance at the rest of his running cousins.
It took a full minute and mental head count before she realized her little brother was left behind.
She wondered if he was back at the house, missing out like Roxy, who was at St.Mungo’s due to a severe case of Phoenix Pox, angry red spots covering her form head to toe. This adventure had only come about based on the fact that the adults were looking around the Potter's new ensuite bathroom. That was when the children took their chance.
Victoire halted at the lake, catching her breath, hands on her knees and panting almost as hard as James.
“I want to go back,” grumbled Rose, lifting a wide-eyed Hugo off her hip and placing him gently down.
A stubborn pout was on Lily’s lips, as she nodded in agreement arms folded like she’d seen Lorcan do before.
“Well........” Victoire hesitated, her mouth hanging open.
She looked at Teddy for support, but he didn’t offer any, just shrugged dismissively
Dominique gave a tentative shake of her head, wanting to carry on in the adventure.
And then there was a lost Louis to deal with.....
She sighed then, a long drawn out sigh that told everyone that she was tired and bored of them.
“Well what I was going to say was, I think that we should do a vote.”
She paused to see their reaction.
Rose and James were nodding in approval, where as most of the cousins were looking rather confused.
Victoire realized most of them didn’t know what a vote was, as it was far too complex for their simplistic minds.
Lily started to cry again, and Victoire gave up.
She could not please all 8 of them at once.
She was fed up of making all the decisions, having all the responsibilities. She wanted to be more like Lily, who could cry or smile or moan, and not have anyone question what ever she asked for or said.
Victoire needed a solution and fast.
What could entertain them all?
She turned her gaze over the lake, in the forest at the back of the Potter’s garden.
It was fairly large, with a small island in the middle of it, that contained a tiny sandy beach, two trees and a pile of logs. The waves lapped mercilessly over the shore, before drawing gingerly back, tiny stars bobbing on the surface.
She took off her shoes and socks, and tested the water with her big toe, poking it cautiously under the navy glimmering blanket.
She shuddered at the unpleasant sensation that spread through her body, before glancing up at the 3 o’clock sun, beating down and filtering it’s way through the green summer leaves.
Victoire bit her lip determinedly, slipping her cardigan off her shoulders and chucking it carelessly on top of her shoes.
Now all she had on was a dress.
She paddled in to the water, ankle deep, and earning respectful and curious wide-eyed stares from all the rest of her cousins.
The feeling of the hot sun on her pale skin was glorious, as she stood still, the water lapping slightly around her feet as she gazed up at the sky, the light blinding her pale blue eyes.
Before she knew it, she was sprinting through the water as it splashed eagerly around her, cheers of encouragement from the shore, as the water got too deep for her to run.
She threw herself in it without a seconds thought, thoughts of her mother’s scornful face vanished from her mind as she swam across the water, teeth chattering but nonetheless content.
Having always had a passion for swimming, Victoire was a strong swimmer. Strong enough anyway, and all those swimming lessons finally paid off as the weak beat of her heart rang in her ears, pulsing all through her body as she swam up to the surface, longing for a long gaps of air, a warm mug of hot chocolate, a nice hot shower instead of a tepid slap in the face which is what she had now.
As soon as she reached the golden sand, pulling herself up on to the island dripping wet, Teddy charged in after her, roaring with laughter as his hair changed blue as it came in contact with the water.
James joined in then too, Fred and Dom swiftly following. Hugo stuck his thumb in his mouth with a scowl, annoyed that he was neither big or strong enough to swim over to the island.
Albus avoided the water warily, clutching Lily’s hand for dear life, while she poked and prodded it with a giggle.
Rose, five years old, started to make her way over, until she was knee deep, trembling in the tepid water.
Victoire ran a hand through her dripping blond hair, with socks of sand as they stuck to her feet.
Teddy made his way to the shore, wading through the shallower water, chest height, until he sprang up and neatly landed on the grass, his t-shirt and shorts tight against his body.
Victoire had another great idea.
“Albus,” She called, surprised at how shrill the echo of her voice sounded. “Please could you run home with Hugo and get the rope, four toy brooms and old bath that is in your garage? Also, the washing pole. Thanks,” She shot him a quick smile of gratitude, before diving back in to the icy depths, and making a tremendous splash.
As she surfaced, she let a magnificent spurt of water out her mouth, making Lily laugh so hard that she fell in to the water.
Victoire reached Rose, who had a thin layer of purple goosebumps over her arms and legs, with knocking knees and a grateful smile as she pulled herself on to her nine year old cousin’s back.
Grinning wider than she ever had before, Victoire unloaded Rose on to the beach of the island, their island, feeling satisfied.
Teddy had already started to build a fire.
“But how are you going to light it?” Quizzed James, plonking his soaked bottom on a log and watching the many failed attempts at trying to light a fire by Teddy.
“Wood plus flint stone equals fire,” Teddy said with a slight smirk. “I saw it on the Discovery Channel at my Grandma’s.”
At the last remark, he puffed his chest out in pride, gaining reproachful and bemused glares from his cousins.
“What’s the discovery channel?” Asked Rose shyly, amongst the lower branches of a tree.
“Nothing,” Teddy said quickly. “ How’s Lily?”
James glanced at his sister, jumping and splashing in the water, singing to herself.
“Much happier than she was five minutes ago,” he said with an unbothered shrug.
“Could we all live here? Camp out? Roxy and Al would love it here, once the big woss actually got here,” Fred said excitedly, rummaging in his pocket and pulling out a red flobbery strawberry lace.
“What’s that?” Quizzed Victoire chidingly, her tone very similar to that of her mother’s.
“A sweetie,” Fred said innocently, water droplets running down his freckled face from his wet ginger hair.
Victoire raised an eyebrow, that she had recently learnt to do due to practicing for two and a half days in front of a mirror till she had mastered it.
It came in very handy when telling off her siblings
Victoire was one of the only ones in the Weasley Clan to have blond hair; Dom and Louis had blond hair like her, with Al and Roxy being the only ones with black/dark brown.
Everyone else was a violent shade of ginger, or in some cases deep red like Lily.
A part of Victoire envied Lily for having such beautiful hair, and she was sure Dom shot her jealous looks too.
“I must put an eye patch and bandana on my Christmas List,” contemplated Teddy. “And maybe get Grandma to help make me a ragged fierce looking pirate flag to scare off any wanted guests in my bedroom.”
Victoire laughed, sitting cross legged beside Teddy and observing him frustratedly rub a pebble and dried bit of bark together.
"Why won’t it work?” Teddy groaned, his hair changing spiky amber like mountains of flames.
“It’s alright Ted - we don’t need a fire,” Dom grinned, pointing over to where Al was dragging a bath full of rope, four toy brooms and a certain younger ginger sibling.
“Fly over with a broom!” Victoire yelled in her best bossiest voice.
Albus obediently clambered on and shot across the lake, millimeters away from the surface of the inky lake. He crashed in to the island, and Al-shaped imprint on the sand. Rose squealed and started to trace the out line of Al with her finger, as Al got up with knocking knees. “Do you need to sit out a bit?” Victoire asked gently, her bossy voice fading.
Al nodded shakily, plopping himself beside James on the log. Victoire jumped on to the toy broom, feeling the many eyes of her cousins on her, and with a smug smile rushed over the water and to the other side.
Her hands whizzed around the ropes, taps and brooms excitedly, electric-like energy flowing from her brain and through her veins to her nimble fingers. Whilst Teddy started to blow at logs to start a fire, the other cousins started to watch Victoire work. Hugo popped his head out of the bath tub from time to time, checking up on what Victoire was doing before collapsing back down again.
It was about half an hour later that Victoire had finished.
She had always wondered what it would be like to be a little, younger one in the group. Much less work, and much more fun, she concluded, pulling on the final knots and admiring her handiwork with a triumphant smile. She brushed a blond strand of hair behind her ear irritably, itching for a go in her new invention. It had made even Teddy turn to look - and Victoire’s heart might have even skipped a beat as Teddy looked at it with proud and awed eyes.
What she had created, was a bath-mobile. A bath tub with two toy brooms stuck together for each tap.
The lights in each of her cousin’s eyes told her they were just dying to try it out. Lily jumped merrily in the bath tub beside Hugo, unfazed by the dusty bottom and the cobwebbed corners, harrowed by time.
Victoire mounted a broom, the tips of her toes brushing the muddy ground, the damp earth tickling her. Pushing lightly off, Victoire started to soar slowly above the lake. She was still unsure how to control it, but the fits of giggles from behind her told her she was doing her job as the Biggest Cousin well. This beat Banshee Hunting every time.
The only problem, was how to land.
The bath-mobile was hovering over the lake, gracefully gliding over the churning lake, like a delicate swan with outstretched wings.
Hugo and Lily were still chortling away, watery chuckles rising up in to the air. Victorie swerved around the island, the sunlight beating down on her back and spreading through her limbs. She lifted the broom up as she came sauntering towards the island........landing perfectly in to Teddy’s fire.
“Oi Vic! I’d just seen a spark!!” Teddy shouted, his eyes momentarily allowing fury to surpass them, but then turning calm turquoise again.
“Sorry,” Victoire blurted, twisting the hem of her dress round her finger nervously.
She wasn’t the one usually apologizing to other children - adults, yes, for leading her cousins up a tree, or to playing on the muggle escalators in a muggle shopping mall.
But not normally other children, and especially not Teddy.
“It’s okay,” Teddy mumbled, helping lift out Hugo and Lily from the bath-mobile. “Who’s next?”
Crawling ruefully up on to the beach, Victoire panted like a tired dog, feeling like one too. Her hair was a tangled mess, her eyes sore and probably blood shot, sand itching over her hands and face stuck like glue, and so hungry she could eat a raw fish. She doubled over, clutching her stomach with a groan. The sun raked it’s warm fingers through her red cardigan, gently lifting her up and putting her on her bare sandy feet again. She staggered over to her shoes, picking them up with a grunt and tugging them ferociously on.
The other cousins were sure to follow - they'd all been in the crash landing along beside her. At least, she thought Teddy was behind her when she'd swam to the surface...
Plodding up the bay, Victoire knew she ought to clean up. The best she could do was push sand-caked finger tips through her hair and wince at the pain that shot through her scalp.
James and Fred briefly joined her, lying down on the small stretch of sand, with heaving chests and pale faces.
“Never. Ever. Again.” Teddy gurgled, rising up from the tranquil lake with two writhing toddlers in each arm.
Victoire remembered Dom and Louis in a sudden rush of panic - jumping like she’d just been poked with a scorching hot poker.
The bath-mobile had gone down under the cloak of navy after two glorious hours. Victoire got ankle deep, frantically searching the water for Rose, Albus, Louis and Dom - who were all in the bath tub when it crashed. Victoire had a thousand situations shoot through her brain - they were trapped under the bath at the bottom of the lake, a huge jelly fish had killed them, they had got caught in the ropes. Sighing warily, Victoire swam down under the lake, her eyes wide open in the murky mess. Her tired arms cut through the clouds of dust, her exhausted lungs ready to burst as she reached the bottom.
Kicking off again, Victoire surfaced, taking breaths of precious oxygen and catching a last sight of Teddy cuddling Lily as she went back under again. They could be anywhere under the cobalt bowl - miserably drowning to happily splashing around.
Victoire preferred to think of the last one.
She didn’t know, really, what she’d do if she lost Dom, or even Louis. She couldn’t teach Louis rude words with Dom, couldn’t sneak in to her mum’s bedroom with Dom and try on all of her clothes, she couldn’t sneak in to Grandma Weasley’s kitchen at the Burrow with Louis and get given a sneaky preview of that day’s pudding. She wouldn’t even be able to boss anyone around anymore.
Victoire pushed off from the ground again, helpless. She couldn’t find the bath-mobile anywhere - maybe banshee hunting was a better idea after all.
She had to face what she’d done and do her time.
“Vic!” Teddy shouted from the shore, his voice a hoarse croak, just as tired as she was.
Victoire turned half-heartedly, a doubting frown already etched on her young face. Her cracked lips broke in to a bright smile, brighter than the sun itself, as she noticed her siblings and cousins all waiting for her on the shore. Suddenly she was alive with energy again, a jubilant grin tugging at the corners of her mouth as she rushed towards the shore and flung her arms around the teary Dom and half-dead Louis.
“Don’t ever think of doing that again!” She cried, squeezing them almost unbearably tight.
Two shattered toy brooms lay on the shore.
Her, and all of her cousins’, clothes were soaked to the bone.
She turned to look to her right, through the thicket, and through the trees, to where the Potters' back garden was. A clear window made out of branches that the adults could watch closely through - they'd been watching the whole time.
Victoire could already see her mother waving at her with a glass of lemonade in one hand and a neat sun hat on her head. Victoire carried on staring, wastching as her mother then squintied and frowned, like she was just coming to terms with Victoire's appearance, and then mouthing a french word that Victoire guessed was probably rude.
But for once, Victoire didn’t care about that - she didn’t care about her mother’s face when she returned back through the forest, she didn’t care that she was wet and cold. And she especially, didn't care about whining. Victoire guessed it must be hard, and once, believe it or no, she would've whined once too.
"Victoire Weasley! Theodore Lupin! How dare you break those toy brooms? I thought you were meant ot be looking after the young ones, not taking them on some..wild gnome chase! And what on earth were you doing in the pond?" Grandma Weasley yelled, her voice ringing off the trees and scorning Teddy and Victoire from afar.
Victoire could feel her face reddening, as she mumbled her apoligy, and spun round to face all of her little cousins.
Maybe she could be a tiny bit more tolerant towards whiners.
After all, all that mattered was that her cousins and her had had an awesome afternoon.
And for once, she enjoyed being the biggest cousin.
A/N: This chapter is a sort-of higgedly piggeedly follow up from Proud to be a Lupin, another one of my one-shots, about Teddy when he was younger. The whole idea of this short story collection, is to write a different chapter each time in a different era and character - though they're not in order, otherwise I would've put up the Founders one first!
Aside from her bossiness, Victoire truly means well, and I hope you liked the very first chapter! I hope you'll carry on reading! :)